The Association of Zoos and Aquariums inspection report released this afternoon says four of the 10 animal deaths between Dec. 10 and Jan. 24 resulted from "an unfortunate series of unrelated events."
Those four were the deaths of two snow leopard cubs born in inclement weather while the mother was locked outside her den and two muntjacs [Asian deer] that were frightened by dogs during a zoo event.
Yet those "unfortunate" and "unrelated events" also showed up on a list of policy and management changes the AZA suggests and applauds in its eight-page special inspection report, released today by Chattanooga Zoo spokeswoman Robin Derryberry.
The report does fault the zoo for the deaths of two tortoises, which AZA inspectors said were housed in inadequate locations with insufficient heat.
Among the policy and management changes, zoo officials have or should:
The report also states that "administrative error" left two marmosets (monkeys) without food for at least two days.
AZA, however, did not link the oversight to the monkeys' deaths because the monkeys showed evidence of liver disease and "significant weight loss." The report said the monkeys had an as-yet not pinpointed liver disease and their weight loss had occurred over a long period of time that had occurred over a long period of time.
The AZA inspection continues the zoo's accreditation with a September progress recheck.
Contact Pam Sohn at email@example.com or 423-757-6346.