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Posted by Tara Henson on 04/04/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                April 4, 2013


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

Candice Rennels:  (405) 425-0298 / O, (405) 412-6172 / C or [email protected]



Oklahoma City Zoo officials are sad to announce the recent deaths of three animals due to age-related illnesses. Sable antelopes, Lulu and Roxie, were euthanized on Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21, respectively. African cheetah, Tabia, was euthanized Saturday, March 23, 2013.

 “The decision to euthanize an animal is never an easy one,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, director of veterinarian services. “We evaluate several factors on a case-by-case basis, such as the animal’s overall physical condition, eating habits, pain levels, ability to navigate its enclosures, progression of disease and expected quality of life. Our policy at the Zoo is to consider these factors and come to a consensus as a team.”

“We do many things to support our geriatric animals,” said Jaimee Flinchbaugh, animal supervisor.  “We can change their terrain by providing soft mats instead of hay, or change their diets and medicines to make them comfortable.

Prior to her death, Tabia, 9, shared her Zoo habitat with her sister, Barbara Cain, or BC. They were born at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, in 2004 and briefly lived at separate zoos until reuniting at the Oklahoma City Zoo in February 2007. Both Lulu, 19, and Roxie, almost 21, were born at the Zoo in the early 90s, living several years past the average age of 15 for this species, according to D’Agostino.

Advances in veterinary medicine, nutrition, husbandry techniques and habitation are enabling animals to have longer and more enriched lives in accredited zoos and aquariums around the nation.  The Zoo’s future state-of-the-art Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital, slated to open in 2014, will enable the Zoo to further enhance its professional capabilities in veterinary medicine.

If you would like to share your memories about these or other Oklahoma City Zoo animals, please go to the Zoo’s Facebook fan page at Your photos and thoughts are welcome.



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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

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