Rare antelope dies at Tennessee zoo after choking on squeezable pouches

A rare antelope died on Saturday after it choked on a squeezable fruit pouch at a zoo in Limestone, Tennessee, zoo officials said.

LIMESTONE, Tenn. — A rare antelope died on Saturday after it choked on a squeezable fruit pouch at a zoo in Limestone, Tennessee, zoo officials said.

Brights Zoo said their sitatunga named Lief died, according to WSMV. Lief reportedly died after he choked on a squeezable fruit punch someone at the park left behind. Squeezable pouches are prohibited at the zoo.

“Some ask why we don’t allow squeezable pouches into the zoo. The reason is simple - the packaging is dangerous to our animals,” Bright Zoo said on Facebook.

Zoo keepers found Lief in distress. According to USA Today, veterinarians tried to remove the object but Lief did not make it.

“He still had a lot of life to live,” the zoo said in a comment section, according to USA Today.

Lief has been at the zoo since July 30, 2016, the zoo said, according to WSMV. He came to the zoo when he was just a year old, USA Today reported.

“It was our only male Sitatunga we had here at the zoo,” the zoo said, according to WJHL. “He was also a very people-curious animal. So when guests were in that area, he would come up towards the fence, check people out. He had no fear of humans. So [if] somebody was to hand him something or toss him something, he would assume that was a safe object.”

The African Wildlife Foundation. said that a sitatunga is a rare antelope with a shaggy, poly coat that allows them to live in an aquatic habitat, according to WSMV.


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