"It's always a very sad occasion," said Terri Cox, curator for programs and exhibits at the zoo.
"We give the keepers that took care of the animals time to be with them and say goodbye, just like you would if someone in your family was dying.
These are animals that we've taken care of and given heart and soul to for many, many years."
But the location of the burial ground is not disclosed or accessible to the public.
said unscrupulous scavengers could attempt to dig up the remains and sell the parts of endangered animals, like a rhino horn, for money on the black market.
"You just don't want to open it up for somebody to break into the zoo and dig up something," Cox
"For us, that would be devastating."
While death is a natural, albeit unpleasant, part of animal care, Cox
said the loss of life isn't a frequent occurrence.
"Zoos have come so far in veterinary medicine (that) we are facing, globally, a kind of new challenge of dealing with a lot of elderly animals and the problems that come with them," Cox
"They're welcome challenges, because what a success (it is) to have animals live a lot longer now in captivity than they normally would."
noted that Julie probably would have been euthanized much earlier in life because of her
deformity because there wasn't a lot of experience in treating her
time at the zoo, staffers worked to get her
custom-made shoes for her
foot and also taught her
how to display her
deformed ankle so she
wouldn't have to be tranquilized for physical examinations.
said Sumatran tigress Maharani was taken off birth control, so with a little help from Mother Nature and the right sultry look from partner Kucing, two tiger cubs recently arrived.
The zoo is having an online naming contest for the cubs.
And Bornean orangutan Mei, 13, is just a year shy of the recommended mating age.
Pending a breeding recommendation, she
could be clear to mate with sweetie KeraJaan next year.
"Most of the zoo animals are what we would call ambassadors for their wild counterparts who raise awareness for conservation for those species, so we don't breed indiscriminately,"