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NEW Zoo reports passing of Matilda the Moose

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 10:44:46-05

SUAMICO (NBC 26) — Matilda the moose, a longtime resident of the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park, has passed away.

The zoo reported that staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Matilda after she fell.

"Matilda had been closely monitored and under veterinary care for age-related conditions, such as arthritis, for the past several years," the Zoo said in a statement. "Last week, her health seemed to decline rapidly. Despite zookeeping and veterinary staff making quick adjustments to her medications, her quality of life did not quickly improve."

After a slip and fall in the wet, heavy snow on the morning of January 19, the staff decided to euthanize her. Her long-time, trusted caretaker was by her side, the zoo said.

Matilda first arrived at the zoo in 2010 as a seven-month-old calf. At over 12 ½ years of age, she was one of the older moose in human care; the typical life expectancy of a cow moose is closer to 8 years old, according to the zoo.

The NEW Zoo is one of the very few AZA-accredited zoos in the country to house moose. She spent most of her time in her lush, wooded habitat near the Riley Building.

Matilda’s last year seemed to be an especially fun one for her, the zoo says, when she was joined by young male moose, Murphy. Although the two moose were in separate habitat spaces, they seemed to enjoy interacting with each other through their gates and fences.

"Matilda’s very sweet personality will be greatly missed by her caretakers, along with all zoo staff, volunteers, and guests," the zoo said in a statement.