VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 21 (UPI) -- An investigation began Tuesday into why four zebras at a Vancouver, British Columbia, zoo died in quick succession last month.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was expected to visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo after learning the zebras died suddenly at the beginning of March, the Vancouver Post reported.
Officials at the privately operated facility told Global TV it was believed the animals died after two large Cape buffalo were introduced into the zebra enclosure, and they suffered a potentially fatal stress-related reaction in prey animals known as exertional myopathy.
Eileen Drever, senior animal protection officer at the SPCA, told the Sun she suspected that was true, but still would investigate.
"Clearly these animals were stressed," she said.
Zoo officials said they had introduced other animals into the zebra enclosure before, but never saw any bad reactions. They said they have replaced the four dead animals with two more zebras.