Lioness dies at Virginia Zoo; third animal death since June

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by Associated Press

WVEC.com

Posted on July 11, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 3:03 PM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A female African lion died after being bitten by another lion at the Virginia Zoo -- the third animal death in the zoo's new Africa exhibit in less than five weeks.

The 3-year-old lion died Wednesday of severe neck trauma after a 4-year-old lion bit her and displaced her trachea, officials said.

The two lions had been living together for about six weeks after being sent to Norfolk from the Oklahoma City Zoo.

On June 27, a 6-year-old baboon died of complications from anesthesia due to diminished lung capacity after a fight with another baboon.

A 2-year-old female giraffe died from a rare E. coli infection on June 8, a few weeks after coming to Norfolk on loan from the Louisville Zoo.

Shurl Montgomery, an assistant city manager, said the deaths were not related but that the zoo will re-examine how it introduces animals into new environments.

The city is creating a task force of animal management and behavioral experts to put together a report, expected in 30 days.

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