Monday mayhem at the National Zoo: Zebra attack and tiger cubs on display

National Zoo zebra bites keeper, spooks gazelle.  Tiger cubs pass their swim test. Photo: Lion cubs/ National zoo

WASHINGTON, November 20, 2013 — Monday morning was an eventful one at the National Zoo, where a staff member was bitten multiple times by a zebra.

The Smithsonian Institute said that the 10-year-old male Gevy’s zebra, named Gumu, bit the keeper multiple times and spooked a 1-year-old male Dama gazelle. The zoo keeper was sent to the hospital after the incident because he was bleeding from the bites. However, he was conscious and able to talk about the incident with zoo officials.

The Dama gazelle however, died as a result of the incident. The necropsy of the gazelle, named Tony, showed evidence of a fractured spine. Medical officials at the National Zoo say that Tony was likely “spooked by the incident and ran into a barrier”. The death of the gazelle is particularly sad, as the Grevy’s zebra is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Gumu spent the rest of the day in an off-exhibit facility, where he was isolated from the other zebras who remained on display. The Cheetah Conservation Station, where Gumu was being held, is specially designed for juvenile males and young stallions.

In infinitely more adorable National Zoo news, Monday was the first day that the zoo’s three-month-old tiger cubs went on public display. They were out and about from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. They also passed their swim test.


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Ryley Trahan

Ryley J. Trahan is a writer and physics teacher in Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg Virginia, with undergraduate degrees in English and Physics. He loves comic books and super heroes. He also writes a blog about Physics in New Media.

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