Zebra from Zoo Knoxville dies after running into fence
Lydia is not the first zebra the zoo has lost in this way.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Sunday, Zoo Knoxville officials announced the unexpected death of one of their zebras, Lydia.
The 7-year-old zebra died as a result of her injuries after colliding with a fence on Saturday, according to Director of Marketing and Communications Tina Rolen.
Rolen said that first responders were called to a human medical emergency that required an ambulance to drive up to the guest pathway in front of the zebra habitat.
The ambulance did not turn on its sirens, according to Rolen. Zebras are not accustomed to traffic in the area so zoo officials ruled that it would be best to move the zebras from the area. However, Rolen said the zebras calmed, and zoo officials decided not to move the animals.
Around eight minutes after the ambulance left, Rolen said that Lydia unexpectedly bolted and collided with a fence.
Zoo staff started to move other zebra in the corral so that they could safely approach Lydia, but she was dead by the time zoo staff and veterinarians got to her.
Preliminary necropsy results showed that Lydia died instantaneously due to trauma to the neck, Zoo Knoxville officials said.
“Our top priority is the safety of our guests, employees, and animals. We regularly drill for emergencies to be prepared for every conceivable scenario to ensure positive outcomes. Sadly, despite all our efforts yesterday to care for our people and our animals, we had a tragic accident occur,” said Lisa New, President and CEO.
This is not the first zebra the zoo has lost in this way. In 2021, Wiley, a 5-year-old female zebra, also collided with a corral fence while being prepped for a procedure.
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