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Franklin Park Zoo mourns the loss of Milton the Baird's tapir

MiltonWe are deeply saddened to share that Milton, a Baird’s tapir, has passed away. At 30 years old, Milton, who had lived at Franklin Park Zoo since 1997, was the oldest Baird’s tapir within the population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Milton was an incredible ambassador for his species, and he contributed greatly to the continued survival of Baird’s tapirs, an endangered species, by fathering four calves with his mate Abby.

The Animal Care and veterinary staff take extraordinary care of our geriatric animals to ensure they enjoy a comfortable life as they continue to age. Throughout the past year, Milton had some trouble maintaining his body condition, which was being closely monitored. High calorie grains, extra bananas and sweet potatoes (his favorite treats) were added to his diet. Over the past few weeks, the Animal Care staff observed a decline in Milton’s appetite and activity level. Blood work and urinalysis obtained this past week revealed that Milton was in renal failure. Due to a decline in Milton’s quality of life and poor prognosis, the Animal Care and veterinary staff made the decision to humanely euthanize him.

Milton will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We appreciate you keeping his care team in your thoughts.