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Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium to close for mourning after recent animal deaths

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Following the recent deaths of animals, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium will close on Saturday, Feb. 17, to allow for a period of mourning among the zoo's staff.

Out of respect for staff and recent animal losses in the month of February, the Zoo will be closed to guests tomorrow,...

Posted by Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium on Friday, February 16, 2024

"Out of respect for staff and recent animal losses in February, the Zoo will be closed to guests tomorrow, Saturday, February 17. As with the dedication provided every day, animal care will continue to focus on the well-being of resident animals. With equal commitment, we care about our staff and offer this time for grieving and healing," the zoo said in a statement on social media.

Most recently, the zoo's elephant calf, Tsuni, died on Thursday after a sudden and brief battle with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus.

"Tsuni held a special place in the hearts of staff and visitors alike," said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, the zoo's president and CEO. "Her loss is devastating to our entire zoo family. Her ability to fight through her early life medical challenges had been such an inspiration to everyone that worked with her. She will be terribly missed by everyone here as well as elephant lovers all over the world."   

Tsuni was the fourth animal to die at the Pittsburgh Zoo in the past six months. Kovu the red panda died in July, Kit the lion died shortly after and Mrithi the gorilla died last month.   

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