Skip to main content

The Oklahoma City Zoo is mourning the loss of its beloved matriarch, Xena, the oldest African painted dog in any AZA-accredited zoo in North America, who was humanely euthanized on Wednesday, April 3, at the age of 13. Xena, considered a geriatric animal, had been under the vigilant care of the zoo’s dedicated animal and veterinary teams, who had been closely monitoring her for age-related issues such as arthritis and mobility concerns. Despite their best efforts and advanced medical treatments, Xena’s health continued to deteriorate, leading to the difficult but necessary decision to say goodbye.

During her tenure at the zoo, Xena left an indelible mark as a remarkable ambassador for her species, welcoming four litters of puppies into the world and captivating visitors with her spirited interactions and enthusiasm for daily enrichment activities, particularly her favorite, carcass feedings with her pack. Her legacy as a symbol of conservation and inspiration will endure within the OKC Zoo and the wider African painted dog Species Survival Program, ensuring that her impact on both the zoo and the conservation of her wild counterparts remains everlasting.