Karen, a “vibrant and beloved ostrich” on the Topeka Zoo, died after swallowing keys she nabbed from a staffer, the zoo announced on Facebook final week.

According to the zoo, Karen “reached past her exhibit fence” and received the keys off the staffer earlier than “instantly swallowing the keys.” The zoo tried each surgical and non-surgical fixes, however they had been unsuccessful. Karen, a 5-year-old, was euthanized on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

“We are devastated by the lack of Karen,” mentioned Topeka Zoo interim Director Fawn Moser in a press release. “She was not simply an animal; she was a beloved member of our group. Our ideas are with our devoted animal care group, who shaped deep bonds with Karen throughout her time with us.”  

Zoo Ostrich Death
This picture supplied by the Topeka Zoo reveals Karen, an ostrich on the Topeka Zoo in Topeka, Kansas. The 5-year-old ostrich was euthanized on Thursday, April 18, 2024, after grabbing and swallowing a zoo workers member’s keys.

Brea Schmidt/Topeka Zoo by way of AP


Karen arrived on the zoo in March of final 12 months, when she turned a part of the newly opened Giraffe & Friends exhibit, the zoo mentioned. The zoo described the attraction as “an interdisciplinary multi-species exhibit that transports friends to the Serengeti Plain”

The zoo mentioned Karen was “recognized for her water loving habits, like swimming within the pool, enjoying within the sprinkler, and, better of all, being our ‘dancing queen!'”

“Zoo friends and workers alike shaped deep connections together with her, captivated by her playful antics,” the zoo added.

The zoo, positioned in Topeka, Kansas, is residence to greater than 300 animals and sees about 250,000 guests per 12 months, in response to its web site.