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Posted by Diana Jones on 11/30/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         November 29, 2011

CONTACTS:   Tara Henson, (405) 425-0219, cell (405) 919-9038 or [email protected]

Candice Rennels, (405) 425-0298, cell (405) 412-6172 or [email protected]



The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden sadly announces the death of Zephra, a 19-year-old Grevy’s zebra on Wednesday, November 23.  The zebra has been under medical treatment, for the past three months for laminitis, a general inflammation of the hoof. Laminitis is a common ailment in domestic horses, and is difficult to treat. It is even more challenging with a wild animal like a zebra.

“Grevy’s zebras are more aggressive than a domestic horse and must be under anesthesia for any treatment for their health and safety, as well as the safety of the team providing their care,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, Oklahoma City Zoo Director of Veterinary Services.

In addition to the zoo’s veterinary team, other experts, including equine surgeon Dr. Henry Jann from Oklahoma State University, participated in the assessment and treatment of the zebra.  Staff closely monitored her condition and worked to keep her comfortable including providing stall rest with sand and additional padding on the flooring. The difficult decision to euthanize Zephra was made by a team of her animal caretakers, curators and veterinary staff.

“Ultimately, her poor prognosis and quality of life were compromised and this was the right decision on Zephra’s behalf,” stated Dr. D’Agostino. A necropsy, an animal autopsy was performed to look for any other substantial findings. Final results of the necropsy may not be known for several weeks.

"This was a difficult time for our team who worked diligently to provide Zephra with excellent medical treatment and comfort,” said Zoo Executive Director Dwight Scott.  “I am grateful to them and our various partners within the community who are dedicated to the magnificent animals in our care which helps further our conservation and education efforts," stated Executive Director Scott.

Zephra, like many of the animals at the zoo, is a part of a collaborative breeding program to ensure the long-term health of endangered species, such as Grevy’s zebras. She has had offspring which continue to represent this rare, dynamic animal.



EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos of Zephra are available upon request via the Zoo’s Public Relation’s Office.

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