A female meerkat at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was found dead by one of her keepers early this morning.
The keeper found Lorato in the meerkats' night quarters. The Zoo's Animal Care staff had no indication she was in any health-related distress prior to her going off-exhibit at the end of the day on Wednesday. Animal Care staff conducted a necropsy (animal autopsy) at the Zoo's Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine and determined the meerkat died of pneumonia.
Lorato, along with her surviving exhibit-mate, Tebogo, were the first two meerkats ever on exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Lorato, 5, came to Cleveland from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. She was born at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in Florida.