Chippewa moose died of liver failure
A post-mortem examination has determined that the Chippewa Animal Exhibit’s seven-year-old moose died of liver failure last month.
The post-mortem, conducted by Thunder Bay veterinarian Dr. Dan Matyasovszky of Slate River Veterinary Services, also found that the moose was adequately cared for throughout its life at Chippewa, the City of Thunder Bay said Thursday in a news release.
“Moose are notoriously hard to care for in captivity,” Matyasovszky said.
“They are susceptible to disease, and have specific dietary requirements that simply can’t be reproduced in the required amounts in a wildlife exhibit or zoo setting. Ninety per cent of moose die before the age of six when in captivity; 70 per cent die within their first year,” he said.
Moose can’t survive on a diet of grass and grain, unlike the elk, caribou and deer which are cared for at Chippewa.
The moose died on Aug. 27. It had spent most of its life at Chippewa after being orphaned as a calf when its mother was killed by a vehicle.
“We were very sad to see this animal pass away,” said parks division manager Paul Fayrick.
“It had been a staple of the Chippewa facility for many years, and our staff there cared about it a great deal.”
Fayrick said that due to the difficulties associated with raising a captive moose, it is unlikely the Chippewa Zoo will bring in another moose.
Meanwhile, local veterinarians have begun a more rigorous inspection program at Chippewa, and will inspect animals there on a monthly basis. Previously, veterinarians went in on an as-needed basis.