The National Zoo, under a harsh spotlight lately after several employees alleged animal care issues surrounding the deaths of animals, has euthanized its last wallaby amid accusations that the animal was under stress from its new neighbors, a pair of African hornbills. The wallaby, an 18-year-old female named Maji, lived in the Cheetah Conservation Station -- the same area that has caused the recent public outcry, Washington Post reports.
The zoo had shipped out its other wallabies to make way for the African hornbills as it shifted the exhibit's focus to species from Africa. But Maji was too old and infirm to be moved, the zoo said. The recent arrival of the long-beaked hornbills apparently upset her. A worried volunteer told zoo officials that she'd heard the wallaby had injured herself running from the hornbills, which are large birds.The zoo said that Maji had lost weight and had no appetite recently, and had several teeth pulled. She was also being given medication for infections and pain. The zoo denies that Maji was mistreated, and says that it even erected a partition so Maji didn't have to look at her noisy neighbors, who were brought in last year.