Zebra euthanized at Oklahoma City Zoo

A zebra with chronic foot problems has been euthanized at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Zephra was treated by specialists from across the state for an abscess in her hoof, but veterinarians had to euthanize the zebra.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: November 29, 2011
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“She was doing great,” she said. “She was walking without hardly any limp.”

But she quickly deteriorated. The infection got worse and her foot began separating from the hoof. Zoo officials cleaned her and gave her another day. But when they unwrapped the bandages Nov. 23, they knew the problem was too much for her to overcome, D'Agostino said.

“As soon as we took the bandage off,” she said, “we knew.”

Zoo veterinarians, along with Zephra's keepers and zoo management, decided the zebra should be euthanized, D'Agostino said. The animal was administered a lethal dose of anesthesia.

The zoo's other adult Grevy's zebra, Darasa, banged her head against the side of the barn where Zephra was euthanized, D'Agostino said.

“I think Darasa knew,” she said. “I think Zephra was just kind of done.”

Zephra's body has been donated to Skulls Unlimited. Her bones will either end up on display at the Museum of Osteology or become part of an educational exhibit, D'Agostino said.

In retrospect, D'Agostino said Zephra's condition was common and complex.

“The whole time we thought it was all going to be fine. The infection got the better of her,” she said. “We knew that this was the road it could go down.”