The Los Angeles Zoo was forced to euthanize its entire herd of Nubian ibex, in what the authorities said was a ""difficult yet responsible decision" for the protection of the other animals in the zoo.

The herd of ibex was put to sleep after they were found to be carrying a disease that threatened all the other hoofed animals in the Los Angeles Zoo.

Los Angeles Zoo Euthanizes Nubian Ibex Herd

The herd of Nubian ibex, made up of seven goats that come from the mountains of the Middle East, was euthanized last month after they were discovered to be the carriers of a very contagious and incurable form of herpes.

The Los Angeles Zoo became aware of the presence of the virus when six African antelope became sick and passed away in October due to malignant catarrhal fever. The Nubian ibex were later discovered to be the carriers of the disease.

The disease, which could be fatal to other even-toed hoofed animals but could not be passed on to humans, develops from a herpes virus that is often carried asymptomatically. Among the symptoms in infected animals are depression, rough coats of hair, appetite loss, and nasal discharge.

"The Nubian ibex could not be sent to any other facility housing hoofed animals, as those animals could contract the disease and die," explained the zoo in a statement, adding that it would be irresponsible to send the herd to another facility where they could possibly infect and cause the death of other animals.

The disease is no longer present on the grounds of the Los Angeles Zoo, and all the other animals are considered safe.

Animal Euthanasia In Zoos

Euthanization, which painlessly ends the life of animals, is never an easy decision. However, some zoos decide to pursue it for some of their animals for certain reasons.

In August, Tiffany, the 49-year-old lowland gorilla of Topeka Zoo in Kansas, was euthanized after she was discovered to have stage 4 ovarian cancer. In April, Hogle Zoo in Utah put down Rizzo, the 19-year-old polar bear, after he was diagnosed with terminal kidney failure. In February, Granddad, an Australian lungfish in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that is said to be the world's oldest public aquarium fish at almost 100 years old, was euthanized after his vital systems showed signs of shutting down.

Meanwhile, Prashant Khetan, CEO of the animal advocacy nonprofit group Born Free USA, said that the Los Angeles Zoo's decision to euthanize the entire Nubian ibex herd reveals that animals simply do not belong in zoos.

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