Antelope dies at zoo after chocking on plastic waste from visitor

Antelope dies at zoo after chocking on plastic waste from guest

A rare sitatunga antelope named Lief died at Brights Zoo in the United States after choking on a plastic cap from a squeezable food pouch. Visitors are not allowed to bring these kinds of items into the zoo.

“Some ask why we don’t allow squeezable pouches into the zoo. The reason is simple – the packaging is dangerous to our animals. Today, we lost a beloved animal due to choking,” the zoo said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Lief, a 7-year-old male sitatunga, died after eating the plastic cap, which a guest had brought into the zoo in violation of its safety rules.

The family-owned zoo searches bags to ensure no forbidden items are brought in. Despite these measures, some visitors still manage to sneak in restricted items, posing significant risks to the animals.

Sitatungas, also known as marshbucks, are antelopes native to the forests and wetlands of central Africa. They have shaggy, reddish-brown coats with white stripes and spots and long, splayed hooves.

Males possess spiraled horns, while females are hornless and more slender. Sitatungas are herbivorous, feeding primarily on aquatic plants, grasses, and leaves.

Brights Zoo officials expressed their grief over Lief’s death, stating that they believe they will be unable to identify the guest responsible for bringing in the plastic cap. “He still had a lot of life to live,” the zoo wrote.

The incident illustrates the dangers plastic waste poses to wildlife, even within the controlled environment of a zoo.

Follow us for daily animal news – support animal welfare journalism by donating to The Animal Reader

Previous articleIceland grants license to kill 128 fin whales in 2024
Next articleCalf rammed twice by police car is doing well