The Los Angeles Zoo says they've had to euthanized its entire Nubian ibex herd after they were discovered to be the source of a deadly strain of the herpes virus that posed harm to other hoofed animals at the zoo.
After six African antelope became ill and suddenly died in October, zoo officials began investigating where the deadly disease came from. During their investigation, officials discovered a strain of malignant catarrhal fever was present in their Nubian ibex herd. Because of that, the decision to destroy the animals was made.
"The Nubian ibex could not be sent to any other facility housing hoofed animals, as those animals could contract the disease and die. It would have been irresponsible of the Zoo to send the Nubian ibex to another facility knowing they could cause harm to additional animals," zoo officials said in a statement.
Malignant catarrhal fever (or MCF) develops from the herpes virus and is deadly to other even-toed hoofed animals. Zoo officials say MCF cannot be transmitted to humans and there are no risks to park visitors, but the herd needed to be eliminated to protect other animals at the zoo.
Officials did not elaborate how many animals were destroyed. According to the zoo, the disease is no longer present, and the other hoofed species are safe.