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Bactrian camel euthanized at Denver Zoo

Padme, a 19-year-old Bactrian camel, had seen a decline in her quality of life due to her advanced age and chronic arthritis, the zoo said.
Credit: Denver Zoo
Padme, who was born at Denver Zoo in 2003, was euthanized last week due her advanced age and chronic arthritis.

DENVER — Denver Zoo euthanized one of its Bactrian camels last week due to the animal's decline in quality of life, advanced age and chronic arthritis.

Padme, who was 19 years old, and was born at Denver Zoo in 2003 and was hand-raised by keepers because her mother wasn't interested in raising her. She had a close relationship with her keepers and enjoyed getting attention, affection and scratches, the zoo said.

In recent years, animal care staff managed her arthritis through acupuncture and arthritis medication.

"After witnessing a significant decline in her quality of life due to issues of advanced age and chronic arthritis, Denver Zoo animal care and veterinarian staff agreed that all options to keep Padme comfortable and happy for the long-term had been exhausted," the zoo says on Facebook.

Padme passed peacefully in the presence of her animal care team, the zoo said.

Denver Zoo has two other Bactrian camels, juveniles Hagrid and Sprout.

Bactrian camels have two humps – shaped like the letter "B" – that are used to store fat that converts to energy when needed.

Adults are up to 10 feet long and weigh 1,300 to 2,200 pounds, according to Denver Zoo's website.

Bactrian camels can live 40 years, but most live between 20 and 40 years, with the median lifespan being in the mid-20s, according to a Denver Zoo spokesperson.

"Padme was only a month and a half shy of turning 20, which relative to that median age, is advanced for her species," the spokesperson said.

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