COLUMBUS — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has announced the death of its 4-year-old Tasmanian devil, Sprout.
According to the zoo, Sprout, passed away on Wednesday, June 27.
Sprout suddenly showed an increased respiratory rate, abdominal contractions, and weakness, the zoo said.
“Our Animal Health team anesthetized Sprout and during the exam, they discovered that Sprout had an abnormal heart rhythm, called AV block, which prevents the electrical signals from conducting normally through the tissues. This condition has been identified in other Tasmanian devils, but the cause is unknown,” the zoo said in a social media post.
The zoo said its animal health team immediately consulted with several specialists and scheduled Sprout for an emergency pacemaker placement, but he never fully regained consciousness and went into cardiac arrest.
Sprout was born on April 26, 2018, in Tasmania, the zoo said. At 4 years old, he was considered to be a geriatric animal.
Typically, Tasmanian devils live for about 5 or 6 years, according to the zoo.
The zoo says Sprout, his twin sister, Thyme, and Mustard arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) in May 2019.
According to the zoo, the STDP program was created by the Tasmanian government to fight the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian devil due to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). DFTD is a fatal condition in Tasmanian devils characterized by the appearance of obvious facial tumors and is highly contagious among Tasmanian devil populations.
“While at the Columbus Zoo, Sprout loved the pool in his habitat and would often splash water around and swish his tail back and forth. His care team fondly remembers him as a sweet and gentle devil who had a great relationship with them. Whenever one of Sprout’s keepers would walk into his room to say good morning, he would ‘arf’ back at them,” the zoo said.
The zoo said Sprout also loved sunning and sniffing out his favorite snacks, and he was notorious for looking at his care team with his little fangs hanging out of his smile.
The Columbus Zoo also recently announced the death of its 14-year-old Amur tiger, Jupiter.
Jupiter passed away on Sunday, June 26 after developing pneumonia caused by the COVID-19 virus, the zoo said.
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