North Carolina Zoo suffers 2 animal deaths this week

ASHEBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two animals, a seal and an ostrich, at the North Carolina Zoo died this week

"Some weeks at the Zoo are harder than others," the zoo said in a Facebook post Saturday.

The ostrich that died this week was a 19-year-old named Pearl. She came to the zoo 18 years ago and since then had been living on the Watani Grasslands.

While Pearl was under anesthesia, veterinarians discovered she has a severe reproductive disease. Keepers decided the best thing for Pearl was to euthanize her.

"Pearl was a bit of a diva! She had a sense for fashion and would often inspect the Zoofari crowds to pick out the earrings, watches, & cell phones she thought most flashy," keeper Jade said.

Earlier in the week, the zoo announced harbor seal Paco had died. Paco was a harbor seal who lived at the zoo for the past 13 years. Zookeepers said Paco's cause of death had not yet been determined, but he did have a large lung mass.

His keepers raved about Paco's intelligence, strength, playfulness and sass.

"Yes to the sass! Never saw an animal roll their eyes before him. He let you know when he did not want to do things, yet he was so patient with all of us," keeper Melissa said.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.