Third death: Zoo accident claims life of Hartmann’s mountain zebra

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Hartmann’s mountain zebra mare Keeya was euthanised after fracturing her spine in an accident on March 22.
Hartmann’s mountain zebra mare Keeya was euthanised after fracturing her spine in an accident on March 22. © Dallas Zoo

Another Hartmann’s mountain zebra mare has died in captivity in the US, the third loss in recent weeks for the vulnerable species.

Last Monday, March 22, Dallas Zoo’s six-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, Keeya, was found unresponsive in the Giants of the Savanna habitat. She appeared to have had a head injury, and zoologists and veterinarians immediately administered treatment. But after several hours of treatment and observation, it was apparent that Keeya’s injuries were too severe for her to be able to make a full recovery, so veterinarians made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.

A necropsy revealed that she had a fractured spine, an injury that caused paralysis in her lower limbs and from which it would be impossible for her to recover.

Staff members did not witness the event that led to this injury, but it was likely that she was injured by another animal in the Savanna habitat.

“Keeya was a protective and attentive mother to Malawa, who was the first Hartmann’s mountain zebra born at the Dallas Zoo, in January 2020. She was known by her zoologists to be a shy, but sweet zebra who also had a silly side — she was frequently spotted rolling around playfully in her habitat or chasing after boisterous Malawa,” Dallas Zoo said.

“Keeya will be deeply missed. Please send your thoughts and condolences to Keeya’s care team and our entire Zoo family as we grieve this sudden, tragic loss.”

Keeya had been acquired from Austin mountain zebra breeder Bruce Fairchild in 2017.

Earlier this month, Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee lost its five-year-old mare Wiley after she sustained injuries after hitting a fence, and in February, six-year-old mare Grenade died of unknown causes at Albuquerque Biological Park in New Mexico.

Keeya with her foal, Malawa, in January 2020. Malawa was born on January 6.
Keeya with her foal, Malawa, in January 2020. Malawa was born on January 6. © Dallas Zoo

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