Photo Courtesy Chris McGovern
Sadie, 25, one of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s adult female ostrich, was humanely euthanized on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital.
For the last week, Sadie had been under veterinary care for symptoms of decline including lethargy and a decreased appetite. Bloodwork from an initial vet exam indicated she had an infection which was causing inflammation and treatment included antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications. Unfortunately, Sadie’s condition was not improving and the Zoo’s veterinary team administered an extensive exam including radiographs and an ultrasound which confirmed she was in the advanced stages of ovarian cancer. Given the severity of Sadie’s condition and her advanced age, veterinary and animal care teams made the difficult but necessary decision to euthanize her.
Sadie arrived at the OKC Zoo in 1997 and shared a habitat with the Zoo’s female giraffes Ellie, 19, and Julu, 4, until last year. Most recently, she resided in the gazelle habitat with the Zoo’s two Addra gazelles, Obi, 4, and Takitti, 2, and female ostrich, Kijani, 2. According to Sadie’s caretakers she loved eating browser biscuits and was a great animal to care for who will be missed by many.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums lists the median life expectancy for male and female ostrich in human care is 10.6 years.
Native to Africa’s savanna and desert regions, ostrich are the largest and heaviest birds in the world. These massive birds might be too big to fly but they can certainly move! Ostrich have powerful legs that allow them to cover great distances with ease and the ability to run in short bursts up to 43 miles per hour!
–Tracey Dolphin, OKC Zoo’s curator of hoofstock