KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A zebra at Zoo Knoxville has died due to complications from a torsion or twisting of the small intestine.
“Die Toekoms”, an 8-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, had been at the zoo since 2018. On Friday, his caretakers noticed he was exhibiting “symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort.” The zoo shared that the veterinary team administered medication to relieve pain and swelling.
However, further symptoms led his team to believe that he had an obstruction in his bowel. He was then rushed to The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) for emergency surgery.
During surgery, it was discovered that “a large section of his small intestine had twisted, cutting off the blood supply and causing the tissue to die” according to the zoo. The surgeons determined that the amount of tissue death made it unlikely he could recover and the decision was made to “humanely euthanize him.”
On Monday, necropsy results confirmed the death of a 67-centimeter section of his bowel.
“Unfortunately, despite our rapid intervention and the skilled team working to save him, the prognosis for Die Toekoms was grim,” said Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education. “The kindest thing we could do was make sure he left this world peacefully and with dignity.”
Die Toekoms fathered two children at the zoo, a male Mosi and a female Rosi. Both continue to live at Zoo Knoxville.