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Utah zoo's staff investigating deaths of 2 zebras



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Officials at Utah's Hogle Zoo say they've launched an investigation into the deaths of two Grevy's zebras.

Officials said Thursday zookeepers found the first animal, Taji, dead in his exhibit area Tuesday. A necropsy conducted that day identified no obvious cause of death, only a bloody nose and a cut lip.

"We saw blood on the ground, and we saw some blood in the snow. There was no blood, really, around the area where he was lying," said Dr. Nancy Carpenter, associate director of animal health at Hogle Zoo.

Carpenter said a second zebra, Monty, seemed fine on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, zookeepers found him in distress and began treatment. He was later euthanized. Doctors found inflammation and possible heart problems.

"We are not seeing any indications of anything here that looks malicious or foul play," Carpenter said.

Zoo staff is now consulting with other veterinary experts to determine what caused the deaths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been invited to participate in the investigation.

Taji and Monty came to Utah a Wichita, Kan., zoo in 1998. Grevy's zebras are native to Africa and are considered endangered.

Taji was born in 1995 and Monty in 1997.

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Story compiled with contributions from Paul Nelson, Alex Cabrero and The Associated Press.

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