El Paso, Texas (July 18, 2013) The El Paso Zoo is sad to announce the passing of Spike, a Malayan Tapir, who was one of the first residents in the Asia section of the Zoo. Spike arrived at the El Paso Zoo in August of 1995 from San Diego Global. 

On July 17, 2013, due to a prolonged gastrointestinal illness, Spike was euthanized. Veterinary staff and zookeepers were providing ongoing care and despite medical care, he continued to decline. Veterinary staff and keepers decided together to euthanize Spike because he was beginning to suffer and had a very poor prognosis. 

"Spike has been a much loved animal here at the zoo, a fixture, and he'll be greatly missed," said Animal Curator John Kiseda.

Keepers say that he was closely bonded to his mate, Bailey, and that he could almost always be found at her side. Spike enjoyed swimming on a hot day and looked forward to breakfast and his morning brush. 

"One of our favorite things about Spike was his temperament; he was eager to train, easy going, and curious. We are very saddened to have lost such a unique animal, and will miss him dearly," said Senior Zoo Keeper Lela Lax. 

Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).