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Zoo antelope may have starved to death
Bongo antelope at Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna

Zoo antelope may have starved to death

Published: 19 Aug 2010 16:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Aug 2010 16:58 GMT+02:00

A bongo antelope at Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna may have starved to death, newspaper Eskilstuna-Kuriren wrote on Wednesday.

According to the National Veterinary Institute (Statens veterinärmedicinska anstalt, SVA), it was emaciated when it died.

Why the antelope starved to death is unclear. Parken Zoo director Helena Olsson believes that the bongo antelope may have been driven away from the feed by the other animals and the remaining bongo antelopes are now being fed by other means.

Henrik Uhler, assistant state veterinarian at SVA, told news agency TT that if the animal was emaciated when it died, there may have been several reasons behind its state, including illness, but also starvation.

There are about a hundred bongo antelopes left in the wild in Africa and somewhat more live in zoos around the world.

Two of Parken Zoo's cheetahs were also found to be too skinny. They caught the attention of a visitor who alerted the county administration board. Officials later learned the cheetahs' condition due to an illness.

"It is really good that we were made aware of this," the zoo's veterinarian consultant Göran Sjöström told the newspaper.

The species' legal status is described as "near threatened." Bongos have been observed to live up to 19 and are one of the largest of the forest antelopes.

In addition to the deep chestnut colour of their coats, they have bright white stripes on their sides to help camouflage them from their enemies. Because of their bright colour, they are very popular in zoos and private collections.

Related links:

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:46 August 19, 2010 by JulieLou40
This absolutely beggars belief. You'd think that maybe this could conceivably happen in a place like Africa, where a lot of PEOPLE starve to death, never mind animals...but SWEDEN??? How on earth did this happen? The staff responsible should be sacked, and the zoo should be shut down!!!
20:00 August 19, 2010 by StockholmSam
Hey JulieLou, don't jump to conclusions just yet. The article said the animal *MAY* have starved to death. Let's wait for the conclusive evidence that points directly to the zoo staff.

That said, all zoos should be shut down.
22:05 August 19, 2010 by spo10
"It is really good that we were made aware of this," the zoo's veterinarian consultant Göran Sjöström told the newspaper.

Wow! And so these people just sit around waiting for 'outsiders' to notice and who gives a damn enough to go to their office and say 'Hey guys, you got some animal dying over here!.' Ridiculous.
00:09 August 20, 2010 by zircon
And so she went on crying for days to find out the strength of Samson. And what was his secret...
12:18 August 20, 2010 by LuckotheeIrish1
I live in Eskilstuna. I went to Parken Zoo in mid June with my sambo. And we saw the antelopes, AT feeding time. We watched them fill several different buckets of pellet like food, and there were 2 large hay sheds full of hay. So the officials are NOT intentionally starving them. Also, when we were there and watched them feed the antelopes. We saw that one kept getting nudged away from the feed bucket. Then the guy would put another bucket down, and the antelope would go towards that one, and the other antelope would leave the feed bucket it was at and go to the next one, continually nudging the one from the food.

As far as the cheetah's go (which are in the enclosure directly across from the antelopes), they always look skinny to me. But as said in the article, it was due to illness not starvation.

But every visit I've made to the park, I always saw care takers tending to the animals there. I do not think Parken Zoo intentionally neglects or harms the animals in any way. Many of these animals aren't native to this area, they are susceptible to disease and illnesses. I'm not from here and I've been fighting the super strong viking bacteria for the last 2 years.

So don't jump to conclusions about Parken Zoo.
00:06 August 21, 2010 by k84
The staff from the Zoo should be arrested. ! ! It's very important, they should be jailed ! !
13:07 August 21, 2010 by Kevin Harris
There are many reasons why an antelope might die that do not relate to the competence of the staff at the zoo. Two reasons are mentioned in the story (illness and bullying). Both occur naturally in the wild too by the way.

Do some posters here actually believe zoo staff stood idle while their rare and beautiful animal wasted away? #1 #3 #6.

Thank you #5 for an informed and intelligent post. You might think about contacting the investigation team with your observations, they might appreciate an independent view.
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