The Maryland Zoo is saddened to announce that Cleo, the Maryland Zoo’s remaining Arctic fox, was euthanized yesterday. “Cleo’s health had been in gradual decline from several age-related afflictions, and we were keeping her at the Zoo hospital for observation and treatment,” stated Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Zoo. “She began to decline rapidly over the weekend and so we made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.”
Cleo came to The Maryland Zoo in 2011 from the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Two Arctic foxes, Cleo and Hudson, were confiscated by Tennessee wildlife officials from a private residence and were sent to the Chattanooga Zoo for proper care,” stated Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager. “They were then transferred here to live at Polar Bear Watch in our existing exhibit.”
At nine-years-old, Cleo was a geriatric Arctic fox. “Cleo was at first a very shy fox, but she gradually overcame her timidity,” continued Ricciardone. “She will certainly be missed by all of those who cared for her and who visited her over the years.”
The Zoo currently has no plans to acquire Arctic fox for Polar Bear Watch and is exploring an alternate species for the exhibit.