One of Niabi Zoo’s oldest residents — and the 3rd oldest plains zebra on record — was euthanized on Monday.
Molly, a 35-year-old female, had chronic joint and bone issues brought on by her advanced age.
The zoo said in a news release that she was under extensive veterinary care that included chronic pain management for the past two years.
“This is never an easy decision, and the Zoo’s keeper staff, veterinary team and managers in the end had to consider the animal’s quality of life, and the fact that her condition would only deteriorate,” Niabi Zoo Director Lee Jackson said. “Only about 25 percent of plains zebras reach the age of 24 in captivity, and in the wild none do. According to the American zoo and aquarium associations’ Plains Zebra species survival plan and studbook, there are 270 Plains Zebra in North America and the Niabi Zoo’s 35-year-old female was the 3rd oldest on record. This is a remarkable testament to the level of care afforded the animals at the Niabi Zoo, and to the tireless dedication of our keeper, and veterinary staffs.”