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A Przewalski’s horse is fourth animal to die at National Zoo this year

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Another animal has died in our National Zoo bringing the total of dead animals to four. The most recent death was discovered on Wednesday, Dec. 11, in a barn at the zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. The young horse, a Przewalski’s horse, seemingly ran into a fence and broke its neck.

The Conservation Biology Institute is a large research site and the Przewalski’s horses were in the barn. The young colt was only four months old and was still with his mother inside a fenced enclosure. When the colt was found, it was lying beside the fence that was bowed outward, showing that the colt had run into a portion of fence.

From the preliminary necropsy, it appears he suffered a neck fracture.

In the wild, Przewalski’s horses are critically endangered and the loss of this young animal is a quite a loss.

His death follows three other losses at the main zoo in Northwest Washington. In two of the cases, a Dama gazelle and a Kudu, death occurred for the same reason – the animals crashed into walls and broke their necks. The third death was due to malnutrition of an ailing red river hog that was suffering from infections.

The zoo also released its 17-page report of the death investigations of two of the animals. The document reviews several problems including lack of proper space to house some of the animals, inexperience, friction and poor communication.

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