LA Zoo’s Desert Bighorn Sheep Passes Away After Escaping The Zoo

CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

November 22, 2014

Zoo Awaits Results of Necropsy To Confirm Cause of Death

At around noon on Saturday, Nov. 22, a 5-year-old female Desert bighorn sheep escaped her habitat and the Zoo perimeter fence and traveled south up into the hills towards Mt. Hollywood then down past the Greek Theatre. It was reported by witnesses that the sheep was hit by a car near the theatre, but the vehicle did not stop. Zoo animal care staff and veterinarians arrived at the scene and made a perimeter around the sheep. Zoo veterinarians tranquilized the sheep, but she died shortly after.

Preliminary results of the necropsy done on the Desert bighorn sheep indicate trauma to the head, neck and shoulder that are consistent with being struck by a car. The Zoo will send tissue samples to a lab in the state of Washington, and more information should be available in 2-4 weeks.

The Zoo is investigating the incident to find out how the animal escaped its habitat and will take corrective measures immediately. This is the first time an animal has escaped the exhibit since it began housing Desert bighorn sheep in 1993. The Los Angeles Zoo cares deeply about all of its animal residents and is saddened by this event.

The four remaining Desert bighorn sheep, two females ages 9-years-old and 1-year-old and two males ages 1-year-old and 2-years-old can currently be seen in their habitat.

About the Los Angeles Zoo:

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $19 for adults and $14 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at