All Five Meerkats Mysteriously Die At Philadelphia Zoo

Image not from the zoo mentioned in the story. (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexander Pease Contributor
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The Philadelphia Zoo’s entire Meerkat population died after allegedly being exposed to a toxic dye, according to NBC News.

The five meerkats died, possibly after being accidentally poisoned with the topical agricultural dye known as Nyanzol-D. Vice President of Animal Well-Being at the Philadelphia Zoo Rachel Metz told the outlet the zoo had been using for 30 years. The dye is used to help identify the meerkats, which look similar to each other, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

On the other hand, an “unnamed zookeeper” told the outlet that a recent uptick in staff turnover rates had resulted in “rushed” training, which could also have contributed to the death of the small mammals, the outlet reported.

“We are absolutely reexamining training policies and looking at standards and if there need to be adjustments,” Metz said in a perceived acknowledgement of the anonymous staffers comments to the Inquierer.

The five late meerkats were named Nkosi, Lula, Nya, Kgala, and Ari, according to the outlet. Each of them had lived at the zoo since making their 2013 debut. (RELATED: Wildlife Experts Investigating Contagious And Fatal ‘Zombie Deer Disease’)

Due to the uncommon nature of animal fatalities impacting the zoo, Metz added that staff were offered on-site therapy to mourn the unintentional loss of the furry creatures.