Five meerkats that died at Philadephia Zoo are believed to have been poisoned by accident.
Reports suggest the animals – named Nkosi, Lula, Nya, Kgala, and Ari – were poisoned by a dye used to mark them. It came a decade after the meerkats arrived at the zoo.
Zoo vice president Rachel Metz said the facility uses the dye to differntiate between the animals, reports Fox News. The zoo has reportedly used the same dye for 30 years without an issue.
It is thought to have been used on the five meerkats on June 1. The first died within half an hour.
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The four other meerkats are said to have started showing signs of acute illness moments later. Veterinary staff anesthetized them and pumped their stomachs.
Three of the animals then died within 36 hours. The last one died on Monday night after being kept under medical supervision for over a week.
The zoo is now conducting a full investigation. Results from a necropsy are pending.