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Keepers mourn the sad passing of Yatsey the vulture

in Animals
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We are very saddened to report that on Sunday 4th February Eurasion Griffon Vulture Yatsey passed away.

Yatsey was free flying during one of our educational bird displays when he diverted from his usual course and landed on the netted roof above the lion’s enclosure, instinctively, one of the lioness’ caught Yatsey. Keepers acted quickly and effectively to get the lions into their inside enclosure to prevent them from causing further harm. Yatsey was swiftly retrieved by keepers and after an initial examination Yatsey had sustained a puncture wound which looked treatable and keepers were confident he would pull through with veterinary treatment. However, following the situation Yatsey had experienced, on the journey to the vets Yatsey sadly passed away from shock.

The netting used above the lion’s outdoor area is designed to stop birds from landing within the enclosure, this is not designed as a security feature, we can confirm that at no point was the safety and security of the lion’s enclosure compromised. We would like to thank visitors for their understanding and cooperation whilst keepers worked to retrieve Yatsey.

Yatsey was 22 years old with a big personality and was a much-loved member of the displays team who had been in the care of his keepers for 12 years. The keepers of the displays team had built a very close bond with Yatsey, as they do with all the animals in their care, and so this is a very sad time for them. Our thoughts are with Yatsey’s dedicated keepers whilst they are in mourning of their very sad loss. We would like to thank all those who have passed on their condolences and their support.

We understand that this unfortunate incident has been reported differently in the media but can confirm that the above information from ourselves here at Colchester Zoo is factually accurate.

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