Tags: reptiles | suddenly | die | zoo | knoxville | tennessee

33 Reptiles Suddenly Die at Tennessee Zoo

Image: 33 Reptiles Suddenly Die at Tennessee Zoo
(Screengrab via Facebook)

By    |   Monday, 27 Mar 2017 10:58 AM

A total of 33 reptiles suddenly died at a Tennessee zoo last week, officials there revealed Saturday as they tried to figure out what happened.

Zoo Knoxville president Lisa New told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that the zoo thinks the deaths were not disease-related but happened because of "an environmental cause." New said that additional autopsy results are pending.

"This is a devastating and catastrophic loss to our zoo," New said in a statement Saturday, according to the News-Sentinel. "These animals were important ambassadors who helped so many people understand the role snakes and lizards play in the balance of nature.

"We also lost breeding programs for several endangered and threatened species. It is especially difficult for our herpetologists who have dedicated their careers to caring for and advocating for these animals," New continued.

The zoo made the announcement of the deaths Saturday on is Facebook page.

"On Wednesday morning they arrived to find 33 reptiles deceased in one of the buildings," the zoo stated on Facebook. "The zoo's vet team responded immediately, evacuating animals, giving them oxygen and checking unresponsive animals for heartbeats with an ultrasound.

"Of the 52 animals housed in the building, 33 succumbed. Among the fatalities were our forest cobra, albino Eastern diamondback rattlesnake and three critically endangered species, the Louisiana pine snake, Catalina Island rattlesnake and Aruba Island rattlesnake. It was a heartbreaking day," the statement continued.

The building where the animals died has been closed while an investigation continues, the News-Sentinel reported. The zoo's animal clinic and veterinarians from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine were called in to investigate, the newspaper noted.

Many shared their condolences about the incident on social media.

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A total of 33 reptiles suddenly died at a Tennessee zoo last week, officials there revealed Saturday as they tried to figure out what happened.
reptiles, suddenly, die, zoo, knoxville, tennessee
339
2017-58-27
Monday, 27 Mar 2017 10:58 AM
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