Zoo Knoxville is mourning the loss of Abba camel, a beloved zoo ambassador who touched hundreds of thousands of guests during his time at Zoo Knoxville. He passed on Sunday, May 24, after a brief struggle with cancer. He was 20 years old.
In late January, Abba was diagnosed with an inoperable obstruction in his bowel. His caretakers and the vet team from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine monitored him closely and made him comfortable but over the weekend his health began to rapidly decline. When it became apparent nothing could be done to sustain his quality of life, the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him.
Abba was very bonded with his caretakers and enjoyed being included in all conversations, usually listening closely for his name, which would prompt a sideways stare from him. He was an especially gifted meteorologist, known as the “weather camel” for his keenly accurate ability to sense when rain was coming, at which time he would let his keepers know it was time to head for the barn because he disliked getting wet.