Critically Endangered Gazelle Dies After Puzzling Behavior

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A 5 year-old Addra Gazelle died Monday at the Topeka Zoo after exhibiting what a city spokesperson described as "puzzling behavior."

“We are saddened by the loss of this gazelle and are determined to learn as much as we possibly can about what caused this incident,” Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said.

Around 1:40 p.m., a visitor at the zoo reported that the gazelle, Raul, was running corner to corner in his exhibit before charging the gate that led to the auxiliary yard, the spokesperson recounted.

He crashed into the gate three times - breaking his neck on that last charge. Zoo staff rushed to aid him, but he had already died.

“Our hearts go out to the staff that worked closely with Raul, and to the guests who witnessed the ordeal,” added Wiley.

Zoo officials say they still aren't sure what set him off and have scheduled a necropsy and pathology evaluation to help try to find out why. They don't expect the results to come back for up to two weeks.

They did not that none of the other gazelles in Raul's exhibit seemed to fazed by what he was doing.

Only about 500 Addra Gazelles are left in the wild, according to the city. Its zoo is one of 20 in North America working to save them - with the hope that one day they can be returned to the wild.