Animal WellnessVirginia Zoo Mourns the Loss of Watusi

November 10, 2017

The Virginia Zoo is saddened to announce its five-year-old watusi, Diallo, was euthanized this week. As reported earlier this year, Diallo was experiencing an overproduction of mucus in one of his horns, causing a weight difference between the right and left horn.
At the time of the original diagnosis, Diallo was in no pain. Several attempts were made to treat Diallo’s condition. The Zoo’s Veterinarian Dr. Colleen Clabbers and Zoo Keepers monitored his condition and gave him Mucinex® daily to help with the mucus breakdown. Weights were applied to the unaffected horn to help counteract the weight on the affected horn but were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Veterinarian and Animal Care Staff had also contacted other institutions that have experienced this same issue with their watusi cattle. Unfortunately no permanent solution was found.
Diallo’s condition was stable for a while, until recently. His Keepers noticed him rubbing the bottom of his horn on surfaces around his exhibit causing damage to the horn. At this point Diallo’s welfare was in question and the decision was made to humanely euthanize him.
The Virginia Zoo still has one watusi, Gamba, who has not shown any signs of head tilt, and the Zoo is exploring the possibility of getting more watusi in the future.
Diallo was a great ambassador for his species, providing Zoo visitors many educational opportunities over the years and will certainly be missed.