Huey was born in Miami in 1994, and in 2008 when Amazonia opened, Huey came to be an Evansville resident, and a member of Mesker Park Zoo. It's no doubt that in his time here, Huey has brought joy to many. At 26 years old, Huey was one of the oldest Baird's Tapirs in humane care.  Unfortunately after evaluating his health, and quality of life, Mesker Park Zoo had to make the extremely difficult decision to humanely euthanize him earlier this week.

Here's what Mesker Park Zoo said about losing Huey:

“It never gets any easier” is a mantra often repeated among animal care staff here at the Zoo. Though we are no strangers to the circle of life, the passing of a beloved animal, friend, and family member is one of the hardest aspects we encounter as professionals who work with animals every single day.
Working with such a wide variety of amazing species, we see it all. The happy, the sad, the good, and the bad. We’ve seen life begin and end. Sometimes we see it coming from miles away and sometimes it surprises us. Sometimes we monitor an animal pregnancy for months in anticipation of a new addition to our family. And sometimes we are pleasantly surprised by a new lemur face that wasn’t there the night before. Sometimes a family member might leave without saying goodbye. And sometimes they let us know when it’s time to go.
With sadness in our hearts we announce that Huey the Baird's Tapir was humanely euthanized earlier this week. For months Huey had been struggling with being underweight and appetite issues. Our animal care team had taken every measure to ensure he was getting proper care and nutrition in order to combat his failing appetite. However, with the latest quality-of-life check conducted by our veterinary and animal staff it was concluded Huey was suffering from age-induced issues with heart and liver functionality. Thus, the difficult decision to humanely euthanize was made.

Huey was born in 1994 at

Zoo Miami

. In 1996 he spent time with

White Oak Conservation

. It wasn’t until Amazonia’s opening in 2008 when Huey came to his forever home here at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Since then he has spent his days enjoying treats, care, and enrichment from his care providers while hanging out with Billie the Capybara and the exotic birds that call Amazonia home. During this time has also captured the hearts of many with his exotic appearance, relaxed personality, and calming presence. Those who worked closely with him are grieved at his passing as we know many of his fans will be as well. Huey was 26 years old and one of the oldest Baird's tapirs under human care in North America.

Baird's tapirs are native to Central and South America. Found in rainforest habitat and are herbivores. This species of tapir is endangered with less than 6,000 animals estimated in the wild. Threats to their survival include deforestation and defragmentation of their habitats.
Please help us celebrate his memory by sharing your favorite photos of this amazing creature gone too soon.
When I read posts from Mesker Park Zoo, it really shows the care and compassion our local zoo has for their animals.  If you'd like to, you can make a donation to Mesker Park Zoo in Huey's honor.

“It never gets any easier” is a mantra often repeated among animal care staff here at the Zoo. Though we are no...

Posted by Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden on Friday, January 22, 2021

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