Gorillas' deaths maybe linked to E. coli in Milwaukee County Zoo exhibit's water system

Zoo staff have disinfected the the water systems
Posted at 12:37 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 18:24:15-04

MILWAUKEE -- An investigation found two beloved gorillas died from gastrointestinal infections likely caused by E. Coli in the water supply at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  

17-year-old Naku and 31-year-old Cassius died in April, and now the zoo is working to make sure other animals don't get sick.

"We're working on disinfecting our water system as well as changing out some of the things in the exhibit," said Dr. Vickie Clyde, Milwaukee County Zoo Veterinarian.

Dr. Clyde said they're also trying new ways to wash and disinfect the produce fed to animals.

Zookeepers weren't harmed and the water the public drinks was not affected.  

"It looks like the water system and the rest of the zoo, including the rest of the ape building is not affected.  None of the human water was affected," said Dr. Clyde.

One of the zoo's bonobo's also got sick.

"We were able to give him a very special antibiotic very very quickly and he did survive," said Clyde.

There are five gorillas still living at the zoo, but they won't be back on display until plumbing work is complete in their exhibit home.

We're told Zahara is doing well adjusting to being raised by human caregivers. 

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