Oldest living hyena in human care dies at Seneca Park Zoo


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Lou, a 27-year-old spotted hyena at the Seneca Park Zoo, died Saturday.

According to officials, Lou was born at the Buffalo Zoo in 1992 and has lived at Seneca Park Zoo since 1999. Zookeepers say that Lou was treated for a number of age-related conditions over the past several months, including degenerative joint disease, dental disease, cancer, and cataracts.

Significantly impaired mobility and other age-related issues led Lou’s caregivers to the difficult but necessary decision to humanely euthanize him.

“We have been closely monitoring Lou’s quality of life, and his condition deteriorated over recent days,” said Dr. Louis DiVincenti, the Zoo’s Assistant Director for Animal Care & Conservation.

Hyenas have a median life expectancy of 21 years, and at the time of his death, Lou was the oldest hyena in human care.

“Losing an animal like Lou is difficult for our entire Zoo family and community,” said Larry Staub, Director of Monroe County Parks and Seneca Park Zoo. “Lou’s long life is a testament to the excellent care he received at Seneca Park Zoo.”

Lou has been the only hyena at the Zoo since his mother, Drek, died in 2012. As we continue our Master Plan transformation, hyenas are not anticipated to be part of the Zoo in the future.

Zookeepers say you can honor Lou’s memory by donating to our conservation partner Lion Landscapes, which works with local people to protect habitats across Africa for pinnacle carnivore species like hyenas.

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