Zoo Knoxville’s only gazelle dies days after escaping enclosure

(source: Zoo Knoxville)
(source: Zoo Knoxville)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Zoo Knoxville says a gazelle that escaped its enclosure earlier this week and was later found with a broken jaw has died.

Zoo officials say Fodder underwent surgery to put a wire in his jaw, but veterinarians determined it was not holding the bone and another surgery was done to allow him to eat. Fodder initially appeared to handle the surgery well, but took a turn for the worse and died overnight Thursday.

Previous story: Zoo Knoxville gazelle breaks free from enclosure

The gazelle got out of his enclosure, according to zoo officials, and spent Sunday night in the back part of the zoo. The quick-footed 11-year-old was first spotted by park rangers on the zoo pathway around midnight. After hours of searching, the gazelle was finally found in the wooded area of the zoo.

Zoo officials believe Fodder somehow became suddenly startled and jumped, managing to get through a gap in the high wire in the upper portion of the containment fence and there was no error in protocol.

Fodder was the only gazelle at the zoo.

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