Staff and visitors are mourning after a zebra named Stuart died following an accident inside an enclosure at a Wisconsin zoo, officials say.
The male zebra, who was born in 2018, was “running and chasing impalas” when he struck a fence pole, the Milwaukee County Zoo said in a news release.
“Despite the immediate response from the veterinary team, Stuart did not survive his injuries,” the zoo said.
Stuart died after 9:30 a.m. on May 24, according to the release.
“This tragic accident is a heartbreaking loss for the animal care team, and for everyone who cares about the Zoo’s animals. The focus now is on the well-being of the impalas and the ostriches who share the habitat,” the zoo said.
Many people weighed in on social media, with some blaming the zoo for Stuart’s death.
“How was this allowed to happen? Animals need to run and frolic so it’s common sense to make sure they can safely do so,” one commenter wrote.
“The world is less when a beautiful creature dies, as a result of human error. Surely the staff knew that he ran with the Impalas,” wrote another.
Others sympathized with zoo staff, offering their condolences.
Some recounted their experiences with Stuart, who one visitor remembered as “the smiling zebra.”
“It just always looked like he had a smile on his face,” the commenter wrote, also sharing a photo of Stuart “basking in the sun.”
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the vet staff and caretakers,” they wrote.