“We’ve had some gruesome days here,” the head of a popular animal park in the mountains of southern Norway told state broadcaster NRK on Monday. In the past week, some of the park’s biggest attractions, literally, have suddenly fallen ill and died.
“When animals die a natural death, we just have to live with it,” Tuva Thorson, leader of the Langedrag park in Nesbyen that acts as a form of zoo featuring local wildlife, told NRK. “This kind of death is tragic. There have been a lot of tears.”
It started last week, when a large male moose known as “Elgvin” was found dead. He was tame, has been a star attraction at Langedrag and his sudden death “was like losing a friend,” Thorson said. Then the park’s large female moose, Svea, died, just a day after giving birth to two healthy calves. The day after that, a deer named Ronja was found dead in her enclosure.
Thorson calls the deaths “alarming” and park officials are working with veteranians and officials from the food and animal welfare agency Mattilsynet to find the cause of death. Autopsy results indicated an otherwise normal intestinal bacteria had become poisonous but they don’t know why. Tests were also being run on the feed, hay and carrots the animals had eaten. “It’s important for us to find out what made them sick,” Thorson said.