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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The oldest koala in North America and Europe has died at Zoo Miami.
“Danda-Loo,” a female koala, was euthanized on Saturday, May 30th, after a consistent decline in her health for the past several months, according to Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill.
Danda-Loo was born on October 16, 1995 at Busch Gardens in Tampa and came to Zoo Miami on April 12, 2007 as part of the Koala Education and Conservation Program (KECP) managed by the San Diego Zoo.
Recently, she received several laser therapy treatments for severe arthritis.
“Initially, they seemed to have a positive effect then, however, her appetite slowly continued to diminish to the point where it was almost non-existent. Despite supplemental feeding, and pain medication therapy, she continued to experienced significant weight loss and normal daily activity had become extremely difficult, if not impossible,” according to a statement by Zoo Miami.
At nearly 20 years of age, Danda-Loo was the oldest koala in North American and Europe, exceeding the normal lifespan for a female koala of 13-18 years.
With the loss of Danda-Loo, the koala exhibit will now be empty until other individuals become available through the KECP.
In February, the zoo lost their their other koala – Cobber. The male Queensland koala died at the age of 19.
Cobber, whose name is Australian slang for “friend,” arrived at Zoo Miami (then Metrozoo) back in April of 1999. At the age of about 19, he began ot show signs of aslow but steady decline in his health as a result of geriatric problems ranging from limb stiffness to labored breathing. He too receive laser therapy on his joints until it was no longer effective. Zoo officials finally made the decision to humanely euthanize him due to advanced heart disease and crippling arthritis.