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Elderly zebra Akina, 24, dies at Sacramento Zoo

Akina, a Grevy’s zebra at the Sacramento Zoo, died Thursday following an apparent bout with colic.
Akina, a Grevy’s zebra at the Sacramento Zoo, died Thursday following an apparent bout with colic. Courtesy of Sacramento Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo has lost yet another one of its elderly residents, a Grevy’s zebra named Akina.

Akina died Thursday evening following an apparent bout with colic, zoo officials announced. At 24, she was one of the oldest of her species living in an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, officials said in a statement.

Her death was the third in the past two weeks among the zoo’s elderly animals. Jasper, a talkative Amazon parrot, died at 27 on Dec. 19 of complications from a heart condition. Percy, a North American river otter, was fighting a neurological disease when he died Dec. 22 at age 17.

Akina died hours after zoo veterinarians examined and treated her for suspected colic. She was given fluids, pain medications, antibiotics and other medicines, but she never recovered, officials said.

The population of Grevy’s zebras in the wild has been drastically reduced in recent decades due to predators, poaching and habitat loss in their native African plains.

The Sacramento Zoo has long participated in a program designed to protect the species, overseeing captive breeding of the zebras and caring for females that are past breeding age or are unable to breed.

Akina’s keeper, Lindsey Moseanko, called her “a grand old equine” with a spunky personality.

“Her vocalizing could be heard throughout the zoo,” she said. “She loved coming to her keepers at the fence line for apple slices and ear scratches.”

UC Davis veterinarians will conduct a necropsy on Akina to determine the cause of death.

Cynthia Hubert: 916-321-1082, @Cynthia_Hubert

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