BATON ROUGE- Following reports of 18 animal deaths at the zoo in just four months, WBRZ’s Natalia Verdina went behind the scenes with BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo to see how they care for the animals.
A few weeks ago a tiger cub died, and before that two giraffes. WBRZ also learned that a total of 50 animals died in 2015 as well.
Zoo officials say the deaths are beyond their control, but that does not mean they do not care for them.
Zoo keeper Krystal Phillips, that keeping the exhibits and cages clean are crucial.
“They'll come inside and we'll come in and clean their exhibit and anything that might be out there,” Phillips said.
According to Phillips, zookeepers spray most of the cages down at least once a day. She also says that keeping a nutritious diet is important to keep the animals healthy.
While feeding them, zookeepers take the time to check in on the animals’ health.
“It's good for us to be able to get in close contact with them, if they do need medical treatment,” Phillips said.
It may not be obvious to keepers when an animal is sick, however they are trained to detect abnormal behavior.
“That's one of the biggest things about getting experience in the field, is just recognizing how an animal moves and how they interact with the members of their species , so that's a big part of it,” she said.
Phillips said that she does not take her relationship with the animals lightly.
The USDA is currently putting together a report on the recent deaths of the animals and will soon be released.
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