Saturday, March 25, 2017
From the News: 33 Reptiles Mysteriously Die at Zoo Knoxville
Well... that really sucks. Life support systems are an integral part of maintaining many species in zoo settings. When they work, everything is great. If they don't... you're in for trouble. Don't believe it? Look at Audubon's Aquarium of the Americas, where a loss of power during Hurricane Katrina was a death sentence for virtually all of the fish.
Not even able to guess what the problem might be. A diamondback rattlesnake was one of the snakes to succomb - that should be a snake able to tolerate a drop in temperature. Amphibians are a lot more sensitive to many environmental changes than reptiles, but I didn't see anything about amphibians dying. Maybe some gas was in the ventilation system? Something in the water? Possibly a disease outbreak? I'm sure the staff at Knoxville won't rest until they get some answers.
In the meantime, I'm very sorry for their losses. To many people, snakes are just... snakes. To the people who care for them, however, they are species, they are histories, they are names, and, in many cases, they are personalities. And I'm sure they will be missed.