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Columbus Zoo announces death of 4-year-old Tasmanian devil

Sprout arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2019 with his twin sister Thyme through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is mourning the loss of a beloved 4-year-old Tasmanian devil named "Sprout."

Sprout died Monday, according to the zoo, after showing a sudden increased respiratory rate, abdominal contractions and weakness. The health team at the zoo sedated Sprout for an exam and he never regained consciousness.

The zoo said the health team discovered that Sprout had an abnormal heart rhythm called AV block. The condition has been identified in other Tasmanian devils but the cause is unknown, according to the zoo.

Sprout, born on April 26, 2018, in Tasmania, was considered to be a geriatric animal at 4 years old. Tasmanian devils typically live for about five or six years.

Sprout arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2019 with his twin sister Thyme and another Tasmanian devil named Mustard through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.

Along with the many births and successes we celebrate, there are also times we mourn losses within our Zoo family....

Posted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, July 1, 2022

The Columbus Zoo said that Sprout loved the pool in his habitat and would often splash water around and swish his tail back and forth. In a tribute posted on Facebook, the zoo said Sprout's care team remembers him as "a sweet and gentle devil," and he formed a great relationship with them.  Whenever one of Sprout's keepers would walk into his room to say good morning, he would “arf” back at them.

Sprout also lying in the sun and sniffing out his favorite snacks, and he was notorious for looking at his care team with his little fangs hanging out of his smile.

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