BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 13-year-old camel at the Brevard Zoo died unexpectedly on Thursday morning, according to zoo officials.
Sammy, a Dromedary camel, seemed normal at first but the zoo said he suddenly became unresponsive.
“There were no signs of any issues with Sammy beforehand or any physical abnormalities to suggest what happened,” zoo officials said.
Sammy was taken to the University of Florida Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for necropsy and histopathology analyses. The zoo said it will share the findings once they are available.
Sammy’s brother Frankie also lives at the zoo. Officials said there is no evidence that the cause of Sammy’s illness is being experienced by Frankie but zookeepers are keeping an eye on him.
The Brevard Zoo said Sammy and Frankie came to the zoo together in 2009 to be residents of the habitat the Cape to Cairo Express train travels through.
The zoo said keeper Vanessa Kunz cared for the camel brothers since their arrival. She described Sammy as a feisty, loveable camel.
“He is just an amazing animal and I feel lucky that I have gotten to work him all these years,” Kunz said. “I will always remember him.”
According to the zoo, Sammy shared his habitat with Ankole-Watusi cattle, Eastern bongo, impala, Grévy’s zebra and more Expedition Africa residents.
SeaWorld said Dromedary camels typically live about 40 years.