May 19, 2005|By William Mullen and Hal Dardick, Tribune agents reporters.
Seeking to defuse accusations that Lincoln Park Zoo has been ambuscade the facts abaft a access of contempo beastly deaths, zoo admiral opened anatomy letters on the nine deaths to reporters Wednesday.
The contents, admitting awful technical, seemed to validate the zoo’s altercation that its accessible summaries of the letters appear beforehand were authentic and did not abstain any anathema details.
Of the contempo deaths, admiral assume best puzzled and abashed by the accident of three baby langur monkeys who died over 36 hours in an alfresco display this month. Aboriginal analysis after-effects offered no clue to the cause, but zoo admiral said they achievement added abundant testing will accompany an answer, whether it comes bottomward to a administration aberration or alike advised poisoning.
The zoo showed the letters on three elephants, two gorillas, a biscuit and the three monkeys to reporters from the Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times–an aberrant move, said to zoo President Kevin Bell. Bell had to seek cooperation from the San Diego Zoo to appearance the abstracts on the elephants, which were on accommodation from that zoo back they died.
“In the veterinary medical community, assuming letters like these to the accessible artlessly is not done,” said Bell.
The zoo let reporters attending at the annal and booty addendum while discussing them with a zoo veterinarian, but it beneath to acquiesce copies to be made.
Bell said that because the letters are abounding with abstruse medical abracadabra and observations, authoritative them accessible would allure broad baloney of the facts, decidedly by beastly rights organizations that are application the contempo deaths in an anti-zoo campaign.
“That’s aloof a antic claim,” said Debby Leahy, administrator of bound animals and ball issues for Bodies for the Ethical Analysis of Animals. “That’s a aegis apparatus from an article that has article to hide.”
PETA contends the Bactrian biscuit froze to afterlife afterwards a babysitter larboard it alfresco brief in December. The necropsy, conducted by pathologists at the University of Illinois, was clumsy to define the account of afterlife but begin no affirmation that it froze to afterlife or that acclimate was a factor.
The pathologists doubtable a breakdown in the camel’s adeptness to metabolize aliment in its stomach, a action that ultimately upsets the body’s actinic balance, causing agency failure.
“In the end, I don’t anticipate we’ll anytime apperceive what happened” to the camel, said Robyn Barbiers, a veterinarian who is the zoo’s accepted curator. “That’s the arresting thing. You do the necropsy, and … sometimes the affirmation aloof isn’t there.”
The ambiguous attributes of abounding anatomy letters on zoo animals plays into the easily of activists against to zoos, zoo admiral said.
“Some bodies acquisition it easier to acquire explanations from the beastly rights bodies about how our animals died,” said backer Kelly McGrath. “They can say the biscuit froze to death, and that sounds added barefaced than our message, which is that it didn’t benumb but succumbed to a gastrointestinal ache for which the account is absurd to determine.”
The letters on the three elephants did not alarm into catechism any of the zoo’s beforehand accounts of their deaths. The address on Tatima, who had become bruised a year afore her afterlife in October, showed that a attenuate mycobacterial infection agnate to tuberculosis had attenuated best of her larboard hip joint. The infection, which acquired lesions on her lungs, was not apparent until the dissection and is the apparent account of her death.
The address on Peaches, the oldest African albatross in North America at 55, begin her January afterlife was acquired by a host of aged ailments.
The aboriginal dissection address on Wankie, who died May 1 afterwards actuality alien to a Utah zoo, showed lung lesions that additionally advance a mycobacterial infection. Barbiers said it was absurd to ascertain the attendance of the infections in Tatima and Wankie back they were alive.
“There was no way to apperceive that [Wankie] was ailing … that she had these austere lesions to the lungs” afore the trip, she said. The address said that “disease accompanying with … accent of aircraft may accept been acceptable to account collapse.”
The infections, it said, could accept occurred “in bondage or in the agrarian above-mentioned to captivity.”
Reports on the deaths this year of two changeable gorillas, Kumba, 35, in February, and Mumbali, 9, in April, appropriate they were not related.
Kumba, who had aged ailments, acceptable died of “severe, abiding renal disease,” said the dissection report. Zoo admiral are cat-and-mouse for the final dissection address on Mumbali.
Mumbali and her sister Rollie mysteriously fell ill and were removed for analysis from their ancestors group. Rollie rallied beneath treatment, but Mumbali’s action bound deteriorated, and she had to be euthanized.
Her dissection showed she aboriginal had apprenticed a bacterial or a viral infection. Then a accessory infection advance throughout her body, and veterinarians could no best amusement her.
The langur monkeys died a few canicule afterwards they had been placed in an alfresco display in the zoo’s abbey house.
After the additional of the zoo’s four langurs was begin asleep May 11, “we got absolutely scared” and put a connected watch on the two actual monkeys, Barbiers said. The third monkey, who was pregnant, died the afterward morning admitting agitated efforts to animate it.
The basic dissection letters begin around no clues to why they died. The two asleep females had hardly aggrandized bellies; the affection of the macho was “slightly dilated.”
The fourth langur, a female, charcoal in acceptable bloom but appears lonely, Barbiers said.
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