Zebra dies from twisted bowel

Jay FitzEast Knox

Zoo Knoxville has announced the death of Die Toekoms, an 8-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, due to complications from a torsion or twisting of the small intestine.

Caretakers noticed Die Toekoms was exhibiting symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort on Friday and the veterinary team administered medication to relieve pain and swelling. Further symptoms indicated an obstruction in his bowel and he was transported to The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for emergency surgery.

It was discovered that a large section of his small intestine had twisted, cutting off the blood supply and causing the tissue to die. When surgeons determined that the amount of tissue death made it unlikely he could recover, the decision was made to humanely euthanize him. Necropsy results received on Monday confirmed death of a 67-centimeter section of his bowel.

Die Toekoms came to Zoo Knoxville in 2018 and fathered two offspring, male Mosi and female Rosi, who continue to reside at Zoo Knoxville.

Dr. Julie Shelton comments here.

Zoo Knoxville provided information for this story.


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