One zebra has died and a second is recovering from a reaction to a sedative that Toledo Zoo officials say is administered to the animals annually.
The zoo reported Thursday that a 9-year-old male zebra named Meru suffered a reaction to haldoperidol, a mild sedative that was administered to the animals to facilitate their introduction into Africa, a multispecies exhibit that is open at the zoo during the warmer months.
The second zebra, a 10-year-old male named Tsavo, also experienced a reaction, but was expected to make a full recovery, according to a statement from the zoo. Both animals arrived at the zoo in March 2004.
The press release went on to state that haldoperidol is given to the animals every year to calm them down and facilitate a safer introduction into the exhibit, and it was unclear why they had reactions this year as opposed to previous years.
Further tests to try to determine the cause will be done, officials said.
“ ... The animals exhibited in Africa! often have a lot of pent-up energy in the spring, much like children do when warm weather arrives,” said Anne Baker, executive director of the zoo.
Officials continue to monitor Tsavo, and the Africa! exhibit is still expected to fully open in the next couple of weeks, officials said