A beloved Canada moose at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs was euthanized earlier this month because of chronic arthritis, the zoo said.
Tahoma came to the zoo nearly 13 years ago as a 10-month-old calf. Tahoma's care team decided to euthanize the animal because of chronic arthritis pain and other conditions that “could no longer be controlled with medication and treatments,” the zoo said.
The zoo called Tahoma a “long-time friend and colleague” in a statement about his death.
“For people who haven’t worked at a place like Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it may seem odd to refer to a moose as a colleague,” the statement said. “But (zoo) staff firmly believe that all of us — humans and animals alike — have one main job to do, which is to connect guests with animals, and inspire them to care about wildlife. Tahoma did that job better than most of us.”
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was one of only eight Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions in the country to house moose. Studying Tahoma allowed researchers to “pioneer moose care practices, like formulating nutritious moose diets, blood tests, hoof care and more,” the zoo said.
“Like many of our animal teammates at the Zoo, even him being here was a bit of a miracle that the people of Colorado Springs might not know,” said Cheyenne Mountain Zoo President Bob Chastain. “While you might get lucky and see moose in the wilds of Colorado, seeing how amazing they are up close in a safe environment is a rare treat.”
Tahoma is remembered by zoo staff as a “legend” and “a quick study.” He died “peacefully on a soft bed of cedar shavings, surrounded by his loving keepers and vet staff,” the zoo said.
“Tahoma’s legacy will continue through the work of his fellow animal ambassadors, keepers, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff, the greater zoo and conservation communities, and the people who take action to protect wildlife and wild places because of the deep connections he made.”