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Seneca Park Zoo's hyena 'Lou' has died at age 27; oldest hyena in human care

Seneca Park Zoo/Facebook
Lou, a spotted hyena, was 27 when he died last month at the Seneca Park Zoo. Officials said at the time of his death, he was the oldest hyena in human care.

Officials at the Seneca Park Zoo say they are celebrating the life of a 27-year-old spotted hyena, named Lou, who died over the weekend.

Zoo’s Assistant Director for Animal Care & Conservation Dr. Louis DiVincenti says the staff has been closely monitoring Lou’s quality of life, as he has been treated for a number of age-related conditions, including degenerative joint disease, dental disease, cancer, and cataracts. DiVincenti say the animal’s condition deteriorated in recent days.

Hyenas have a median life expectancy of 21 years, and at the time of his death, Lou was the oldest hyena in human care.

Officials say that significantly impaired mobility and other age-related issues led Lou’s caregivers to the difficult but necessary decision to euthanize him on Saturday.

Lou has been the only hyena at the Zoo since his mother, Drek, died in 2012. Seneca Park Zoo officials say that with the master plan transformation, hyenas are not anticipated to be part of the Zoo in the future.

“Losing an animal like Lou is difficult for our entire Zoo family and community,” said Larry Staub, Director of Monroe County Parks and Seneca Park Zoo. “Lou’s long life is a testament to the excellent care he received at Seneca Park Zoo.”