Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines is mourning the loss of one of their animals this week. KCCI reported yesterday that a 3-year-old zebra by the name of Duchess has died in a tragic accident.

The report states that the zookeepers didn't directly see the incident, but they say something caused Duchess to gallop at full speed towards a fence. According to KCCI, the director of animal care Shannon McKinney said:

“It appears Duchess lost her place while running and struck a fence post at full force. It appears she didn’t suffer and died instantly as a result of her injuries.”

Duchess was brought to Blank Park Zoo just last year. An article from the Des Moines Register states that she and a male zebra named Duke were the first pair of zebras at the zoo since 2011. They were part of a Species Survival Plan, so there was a hope that they would eventually mate and have babies.

Blank Park Zoo hasn't posted a statement to their social media accounts or their official website, but we were able to find the introduction to the zebra pair from last July:

The zoo is currently closed until April 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.