COLORADO SPRINGS — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo said goodbye to a beloved resident this past weekend.
The zoo reported Tuesday that the decision was made to humanely euthanize moose Tahoma, less than two weeks shy of his 13th birthday. Tahoma experienced chronic arthritic pain and other conditions that could no longer be controlled with medication and treatment. The zoo said he passed peacefully on a soft bed of cedar shavings, surrounded by his loving keepers and vet staff.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was one of eight AZA accredited institutions in the U.S. to house moose. Because the animal is so rare in human care, there was little known about their care and management until recently.
According to the zoo, Tahoma and his care team pioneered several moose-care practices, including formulating nutritious moose diets, blood tests, hoof care, and more.
“All of our animals make an impact in their own way, but Tahoma took it above and beyond,” said Rebecca Zwicker, animal care manager in Rocky Mountain Wild, who worked with Tahoma for 10 years. “Before Tahoma, I never would have considered myself a ‘moose person,’ but he had me within the first minute of meeting him,” said Zwicker. “I looked into those big brown eyes and handed him a cracker, and he nuzzled my hand and immediately had my heart. I can’t really put it into words, but there was something magic about Tahoma, and I know I’m not the only person who felt that.”