The Highland Wildlife Park announced that they had to put Cas the Eurasian elk to sleep to “prevent her suffering”.
Staff at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s park, near Kingussie, found Cas unresponsive.
After exhausting all alternatives the vet team advised she should be put to sleep to “prevent her suffering” on July 31.
A post-mortem revealed the elk had tumours in her rumen and bladder.
Cas was the park’s only Eurasian elk when she arrived in 2013, and she was later joined by Raven in 2019.
She gave birth to twins on May 14, however, one passed away at just three-weeks old. The remaining sibling will be named when staff determine whether it is male or female.
‘She will be missed by everyone’
The park announced the loss of 10-year-old Cas on a Facebook post stating: “She will be missed by everyone here but we’re pleased to say her calf is doing well.”
Many commented on the post, offering staff their condolences and wishing the young calf well.
One person wrote: “Sad to read this. We saw an elk and young one just last Monday. Hope her young one thrives. Condolences to the keepers.”
Another commented: “Such very sad news – loved seeing the photos of her with her gorgeous calf. Thoughts are with all of you, especially her keepers.”
Eurasian Elk calves normally stay with their mums for at least a year. However, a spokeswoman for the park said the youngster does not need any special care.
According to Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at the park, the young elk is currently “spending a lot of time with dad, Raven.”