An endangered 5-month-old horse died at the National Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia Wednesday, the zoo announced.
The Przewalski’s colt, which is an endangered subspecies native to Central Asia, was found dead in his barn where he lived with his mother. He was last seen around 2:30 p.m. running around in good health. He was found alongside a fence, which was bowed outward, and initial reports suggest he died of a fractured neck.
News of the dead colt comes just a day after the zoo explained that the recent deaths of three animals and a zebra attack on a zookeeper could be linked to scarce resources and a staff stretched too thin. These comments came as the zoo released two internal reports into incidents within the last year at its Cheetah Conservation Station.
The three recent deaths include a female red river hog that died last December of septicemia, which seemed to be caused by improper nutrition. A pregnant antelope died when it became spooked by something and ran into a wall, breaking its neck. Its death came just a month after it arrived at the zoo.
And most recently, a baby gazelle died when it witnessed a zookeeper being attacked by a zebra, became scared, and broke its neck after running into a barrier.
“Reports highlight that the Zoo’s resources are stretched thin. As a public institution, we remain fortunate and grateful for our federal funding,” a statement on the National Zoo’s website said. “We want to be clear that despite tightening our belts, our professional staff provide the best care possible. Our professional Cheetah Conservation Station staff have a combined experience of more than 118 years.”
Photo by Missud via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0