It is with great sadness that we announce the deaths of our elderly female okapi, Lodja, and mongoose lemur, Orchis, on Friday August 27.
Lodja’s keepers had noticed that the 19-year-old’s appetite had decreased two weeks ago and despite attempts to encourage her to eat, as well as various tests to determine the cause of her loss of appetite, her health deteriorated significantly.
Our vets made the very difficult decision to euthanise Lodja on Friday (August 27) at Wild Place Project.
A post-mortem determined that she had a large gastrointestinal blockage in her stomach – something that would have been impossible to diagnose without surgery, which in itself would have been life-threatening to her.
Lodja, at 19-years-old, was the fourth oldest captive okapi in Europe. She played an important role in our conservation breeding programme and had four calves – a significant contribution to safeguarding the future of this threatened species.
Kibibi, our other female okapi, is still on show at Wild Place Project.
Orchis, our 23-year-old mongoose lemur who lived at Wild Place Project, also sadly died on Friday (August 27).
She underwent surgery the day before, to remove one of her eyes. She had a long-standing cataract in the lens of her left eye. The lens then slipped out of place, which can result in very painful complications. Despite a successful surgery, Orchis struggled to fully recover and died in clinic.
It is hoped we will find a companion for her 16-year-old son Rufus in the near future.