Three Lee Richardson Zoo animals die from old age, health conditions

Old age and pre-existing conditions contributed to the passing of three Lee Richardson Zoo residents.


“Screech” was a fifteen-year-old screech owl who participated in many education programs over his life at the zoo.  Screech owls generally live to be 14 years old on average.  He was euthanized due to age-related health issues on May 24th.  Screech had been under veterinary treatment for four years due to these health issues.


“Chi,” the 24-year-old dominant male of the alpaca herd, passed away on May 25 due to pneumonia. Staff had been addressing the age-related decline in his health, which had been noticed over the last few months.  Alpacas generally live to be 20 years old.  Chi had been at the zoo for almost 15 years.  Chi sired 14 offspring during his time at Lee Richardson Zoo and was well-known for protecting his herd.  Alpacas are native to South America. Alpacas are fully domesticated, and their population is not threatened.  Three alpacas still reside at the zoo.


“Charlie” was a seven-year-old red panda that had been under veterinary treatment for almost three years.  He passed away on May 28.  Charlie sired 11 offspring during his years at the zoo. The median life expectancy for red pandas is 10 years.  Red pandas are endangered and native to Asia, with habitat loss being their biggest threat.  Ember, Charlie’s ten-year-old mate, is currently being monitored for what would be her seventh pregnancy.