The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

USDA Inspects Topeka Zoo, Zoo's Response

Here's the Topeka Zoo's official response to the most-recent USDA inspection:

"The Topeka Zoo has received a report by the USDA following a September 28 follow-up inspection of the zoo. The original inspection was on August 12, 2009.

The Zoo has also received a final report from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine following their review of the four medical cases noted in the first USDA report. The Topeka Zoo plans to contract with the veterinarian school to do ongoing consulting work.

The latest USDA report focused on five animal deaths, all of which occurred prior to 2009, and an incident involving two orangutans that resulted in an injury.

Additional Information Regarding Animal Deaths Cited in the USDA Follow-up Inspection Report

Pallas Cat: Zoo staff had noticed a decline in the cat over an eight day period. While staff noted behavioral and appetite changes during that period the reason for the changes were not diagnosed and the cat died in July 2008. He was 6 years old. The life expectancy of the animal is 8-12 years.

Domestic Rabbit: The animal was found to have a severe maggot infestation and as a result was in failing health. While the exact reason for the maggot infestation isn't known, it is possible a fly strike, when flies attack and lay eggs at a specific site on an animal, had occurred. The animal died in July 2007. It was 6 years old. The life expectancy of the animal is 5-10 years.

North American Pronghorn Antelope: The animal was under treatment for a gastric ulcer since early July 2008. It was restricted to the barn outside the holding pens. At night, the animal was allowed to spend time with other pronghorn antelope in the outside yard. The animal died in July 2008. He was 6 years old. The life expectancy of the animal is 9-12 years.

Large Malayan Chevrotain: The Zoo's Chevrotain (mouse deer) had an eye removed on Sept. 11 at Kansas State University. Following the procedure, the chevrotain was returned to the Zoo and was under veterinarian supportive care. The animal eventually returned to its home in the Tropical Rain Forest. The animal was found chilled in the Tropical Rain Forest and was taken to the Animal Health Center on the Zoo property for treatment. It died on Sept. 16, 2007. It was 12 years old. The life expectancy of the animal is 12-16 years.

Giant Indian Fruit Bats (Indian Flying Foxes): In December 2006 and January 2007, three fruit bats died in the Tropical Rain Forest after falling into a pool with an alligator. Giant Indian Fruit Bats are in free flight in the building and have been since the mid 1970's. After the January 2007 incident, the animals were separated.

Animal Injury Cited

The report also listed an injury to a female orangutan. The injury occurred when a female orangutan and a male orangutan, known to be incompatible, were mistakenly put together during a transfer procedure. The incident occurred on August 31, 2009, and was immediately reported to the USDA. Established transfer procedures, which were in place since 2006, were not followed at that time.

Actions Taken

The Topeka Zoo staff has stepped up its daily observations and care of the collection. Animals are rigorously monitored and complete information recorded in the Daily Animal reports (DARs). More complete documentation is also being made in medical records and an electronic system to monitor the expiration dates of medicines has been established.

Processes and procedures have also been reviewed with staff to ensure the safety of the collection and training or retraining opportunities are taken as they arise. This includes staff review of the handling of orangutans during transfers.

The Topeka Zoo is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care possible for it animals and a safe, educational environment for its visitors. The Zoo has also always had a practice of timely reporting to the USDA all significant changes to programming, including additions, removals and transfers, which affect the animal collection. We appreciate collaboration with the USDA to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals and staff."


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