The zoo director stated that even though we knew this day would eventually come, it was difficult for staff to say goodbye. Japan’s record temperatures have reached the central zoo to havoc and led to the death of only camel at the zoo.
According to staff from the Okazaki City Higashi Koen Zoo in Aichi prefecture, the mammal was 22 years old, which is a relatively old age for captive camels, and therefore at greater risk of heat exhaustion.
Haruna Hirose, a veterinarian at Zoo, told VICE World News that her loss saddened her. “She was a sweet, friendly animal that used to come very close to us during feed time.”
Hitomi was among a group of animals who have died or suffered as temperatures rose to new records worldwide.
2022 has seen a lot of such cases due to the rise in temperatures to extremes. Birds in India fell to the ground simply due to exhaustion and heatstroke as the highest temperatures recorded went up to 50 degrees Celsius. The UK saw a rush to veterinary clinics as hundreds of pets were extremely close to dying due to heatstroke.
Some dog owners in Japan have bought their loved pets fans to keep their dogs cool. The severe heat in Tokyo has caused panic in the power grid, and temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius in Tokyo for the 14th day this year.
Hiroko Ooyama is the director of the Zoo. She said Hitomi might have had underlying conditions that made her more vulnerable to heat. Okazaki, the city where the Zoo’s headquarters is, experienced a scorching high of 36.8° the day before Hitomi died. This caused the prefecture to issue a heatstroke alert.
The camel started walking less and spending more time sitting, beginning in February. Despite being full of energy, Hitomi’s appetite decreased significantly around July. Hitomi began to lose the ability to eat or drink water on August 2, just a day before she died. Her body temperature was 42 degrees Celsius, which is higher than usual for camels.
She was breathing fast, drooling faster than usual, and grinding her teeth. The zookeepers applied cold water to her rectum and IV drips to treat her symptoms. This is a standard treatment for animals suffering from heat stroke.
None of these treatments worked. Hitomi’s vet declared the camel dead from heatstroke on August 3.
The director of the Zoo said that even though we knew this day would eventually come, it was challenging for staff to say goodbye.
Hitomi’s fans can send flowers to the Zoo to remember her.
One day after Hitomi’s passing, Purima, a miniature horse also died at the Zoo. According to the Zoo, the mammal was 30 years old and died of old age.
Source: Vice Asia