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12-year-old bison euthanized at the Columbus Zoo

The bison was born at The Wilds and moved to the Columbus Zoo in 2010 when he was 5 months old.
Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

POWELL, Ohio — A 12-year-old bison at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that was scheduled to move to another zoo was euthanized after failing to recover from anesthesia on Monday.

Hermie was put under anesthesia so his care team could safely move him out of his current habitat into a trailer.

The bison was scheduled to leave the Columbus Zoo and make an overnight trip to The Wilds before heading to another Midwest zoo on Tuesday.

The zoo said his current habitat was built in the 1980s and needed updating. The move also would have given him a chance to socialize within another herd, which the care team said they wanted for his overall wellbeing.

Hermie did not recover from the anesthesia, despite multiple attempts to revive him and he was humanely euthanized, according to the zoo. Hermie was given a pre-shipment exam on Jan. 11 that included a physical, bloodwork and other tests and he was given a clean bill of health, the zoo said.

"Hermie will be dearly missed by our Zoo family, particularly his care team. They fondly remember how he loved his favorite treats (apples and carrots), spending time rubbing against his street sweeper brush, resting in his sandy area or near a sprinkler on a warm day, coming close to the fence while he enjoyed eating browse, and how he helped guests learn more about the incredible story of bison in North America," the zoo said in a post on Facebook.

The bison was born at The Wilds and moved to the Columbus Zoo in 2010 when he was 5 months old. Hermie found a friend in Clover, a female bison and the two were always together. Clover was euthanized in September 2022 due to chronic renal failure at the age of 19.5.

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