Zoo Knoxville Saddened to Announce the Death of Wiley Zebra

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Knoxville Saddened to Announce the Death of Wiley Zebra

Posted: 03/17/2021
Wiley ZebraZoo Knoxville is saddened to announce the death of Wiley, a 5-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, due to injuries she sustained after colliding with a fence this morning.

Zoo staff and the veterinary team from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) were preparing to perform a physical exam on Wiley in the corral of the Grasslands Africa habitat when she made a sudden movement and collided head-on with a chain-link fence and collapsed.  The veterinary team immediately began performing CPR but were unable to resuscitate her.  The cause of death is suspected to be a broken neck and a necropsy will be performed at the UTCVM.

Wiley was one of four mountain zebras in the zoo’s herd, and the aunt of the 3-month-old foal born in December.  She came to the zoo in April, 2018, with female Lydia and male Die Toekoms.

“We are heartbroken about this tragic accident,” said Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education.  “Despite careful planning to minimize stress for Wiley, this happened in a split-second before we could administer anesthesia.  Our team is devastated and currently helping the herd adjust to the loss.  We appreciate kind thoughts on a very difficult day for us.”