Officials look for answers in death of zoo impala

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium reports the loss of another animal - an impala pulled from the elephant pool.

The photo, provided to our sister station WOWT 6 News by the zoo, does not show the specific impala that was involved. A picture of that particular animal was not available.

According to zoo officials, on Wednesday, November 21, keepers responded to a report that there was an impala in the elephant pool. When they arrived, the animal was found lying next to a shallow wallow. When keepers arrived, the impala was unconscious. Keepers called veterinary staff for assistance as they were moving the impala to an off-exhibit area, where it died shortly thereafter.

Upon review of video footage, it appears the impala engaged the hot wire in their habitat for a short period of time, freed itself, then rejoined the herd and appeared to be okay. It was approximately 35 minutes after the incident that the impala suddenly collapsed.

Hot wire, used routinely in agriculture with cattle and horses, is used within zoos as an additional safety measure to enhance and protect barriers.

The male impala was seven years old. He arrived at Wildlife Safari Park in April of 2015 and was moved to the African Grasslands exhibit at the zoo in June of 2016. He was in the habitat with two male impalas and three zebras. There are 14 impalas, five male and nine females, remaining at the zoo.

Initial necropsy findings were very non-specific and didn’t indicate why the animal died. Officials hope to have more answers when additional investigation results are available in about three weeks.

The loss of the impala followed the death of a giraffe about a week earlier, on November 13.