LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Zoo euthanized all its Nubian ibex goats last month after contracting a contagious strain of the herpes virus.
All seven of the zoo’s Nubian ibex – a mountain goat found in the Middle East—were euthanized after the population contracted Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF), a strain of herpes that has no cure.
The news was revealed in a Nov. 21 Board of Zoo Commissioners meeting.
According to the zoo, six African antelope suddenly became ill in October and died. Veterinary staff traced the source of their infection to an MCF virus that was being carried asymptomatically in the ibex.
The zoo said it was forced to euthanize the ibex to ensure it didn’t spread to other hoofed-animals.
“To protect the zoo’s other hoofed animals, on Nov. 1, 2017, the difficult yet responsible decision was made to humanely euthanize the Nubian ibex herd,” the zoo said in a statement provided to CBS2.
The zoo added that the MCF virus “is no longer in the environment on Zoo grounds, and the collection is safe.”
MCF is a lethal virus that can spread quickly in ruminant mammals such as cattle, goats and deer. It cannot be passed to humans.
Ibex are primarily found in high-elevation mountainous regions of Middle Eastern countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Oman, Lebanon and Sudan. Due to poaching and a loss of habitat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates there are less than 2,500 in the world.