ASHEBORO, N.C. — A 6-year-old female red kangaroo died at the North Carolina Zoo on Thursday during a routine transfer between off-exhibit spaces.
The kangaroo was one of four females from a total of nine that had arrived in December from the Detroit Zoo for a new Australian exhibit slated to open in May.
The animal died while keepers were transferring her into a barn to separate her and another female in preparation for routine quarantine examinations scheduled for Friday. She initially was calm but became agitated and ran into a stall fence inside the barn.
The keepers immediately contacted the zoo's veterinary staff and attempted emergency care. The curator of mammals and supervisor performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until veterinary staff members arrived.
Staff members were able to revive the animal once but were not able to save her.
In anticipation of the separation needed for the quarantine examinations Friday, keepers have been using positive-reward training to condition the kangaroos to confinement in the barn. Quarantine examinations are routinely performed on every animal that arrives at the zoo.
Kangaroos, like many of the antelope species housed at the zoo, can be easily frightened by loud noises or unexpected changes or events.
A male kangaroo was euthanized Dec. 15 after veterinarians determined the animal would not recover from injuries sustained during transport.
On Dec. 19, a second male kangaroo had to be euthanized after a surgical procedure revealed that injuries to a foot were too severe to allow the animal to remain mobile.
The zoo does not plan to acquire any additional kangaroos. All of the remaining red kangaroos appear to be in good health.