CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo said one of its two Bactrian camels was euthanized after keepers found her in medical distress early Sunday morning.
The zoo said Laura, the 23-year-old camel, had been under medical supervision and treatment for loss of appetite but testing showed nothing unusual.
However, a basketball-sized intestinal tumor was discovered, when a necropsy (animal autopsy) was performed.
The zoo said the tumor’s location made it impossible to detect by hand or through an ultrasound.
Cleveland Metroparks said that Laura had been at the zoo since 1991 and shared the Bactrian camel exhibit with her 15-year-old daughter.
The zoo said Bactrian camels in the wild have an average lifespan of 30-40 years and typically live a few years longer in zoos.
They have two humps rather than the single hump of their Arabian relatives.