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Koala Passes Away at ABQ BioPark

Luke had been fighting cancer, common in koalas.

12/21/2016 - Luke, a 5-year-old Queensland koala at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, died Tuesday due to cancer. ABQ BioPark vet staff first diagnosed him about a month ago.

Staff had been treating him with chemotherapy, but discontinued the therapy in mid-December, as it had not led to any improvement to Luke’s health. After discontinuing chemotherapy, ABQ BioPark veterinary staff continued to monitor Luke to ensure his comfort. Recently, his quality of life deteriorated very quickly, and BioPark veterinary staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Luke.

Luke was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2011 and came to the ABQ BioPark in December 2012. He resided at Koala Creek.

Cancer is common in wild and captive koalas. According to a 2013 report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, more than half of all captive koalas eventually die of leukemia or lymphoma.

The ABQ BioPark offers quality care for thousands of creatures in its living collection. Additional information on how the BioPark cares for animals throughout their lives is available here.

Luke will be greatly missed by staff and zoo guests alike.