2 rare oryx die after exam procedures
The National Zoo announced Friday that two of its scimitar-horned oryx, which are extinct in the wild, died last month.
On Oct. 24, a 17-year-old female died at the zoo's main campus. Two days earlier, the animal had been anesthetized for a routine health assessment.
The examination proceeded normally, the zoo said. But during recovery, the animal became agitated. The next day, she had difficulty using her hind legs, and died while being anesthetized again for an emergency follow-up examination.
The zoo said preliminary necropsy results suggest the oryx died of "exertional myopathy," which can be related to overexertion or agitation.
On Oct. 14, a 16-year-old male oryx died at the zoo's Conservation and Research Center, in Front Royal, Va., while being anesthetized for a routine reproductive assessment. The animal went into cardiac and respiratory arrest and could not be revived.
In the wild, scimitar-horned oryx once lived in the northern African countries of Egypt, Senegal and Chad. The zoo has one oryx remaining on exhibit and a herd of 13 surviving at the research center.
-- Michael E. Ruane
School layoff plan defended in filing
If the District is not allowed to proceed with the layoffs of 266 schoolteachers and staff members, other cuts will have to be made to balance the city's budget, D.C. lawyers said in court papers filed Friday.