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Published: Friday, 4/1/2005

African antelope is euthanized

An African antelope called a kudu was euthanized yesterday at the Toledo Zoo after keepers found it with leg and pelvis fractures, zoo officials said.

The 14-year-old female was found on the ground in a holding facility for the Africa exhibit when zoo staff arrived at work about 8 a.m., Randi Meyerson, the zoo's mammal curator, said. Zoo officials believe something startled the kudu, possibly a noise of some type outside the holding facility, sending the animal crashing into a gate or a barrier.

The animal suffered a broken elbow on its right leg and a fractured pelvis.

"We believe when she got startled, she fractured her elbow," Ms. Meyerson said. "When she got up, she broke her pelvis. It is a theory. We don't really know."

Dr. Wynona Shellebarger, zoo veterinarian, and the zoo's veterinarian staff, euthanized the kudu, Ms. Meyerson said.

The animal's poor prognosis led to the decision, Andi Norman, a zoo spokesman, said.

Obstacles to recovery were the multiple fractures, an exposed fracture site, and the skittish nature of the animal, making it difficult to keep it calm for an extended period.

The death leaves the zoo with a male and two female kudus.

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