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Staffers Mourn Zoo Animals Who Died In 2009

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Staffers Mourn Zoo Animals Who Died In 2009

Staffers Mourn Zoo Animals Who Died In 2009

Staffers Mourn Zoo Animals Who Died In 2009

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/121760392/122125355" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Merlin, Smithsonian's National Zoo's senior male sloth bear, died in 2009. Courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo hide caption

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Courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo

Merlin, Smithsonian's National Zoo's senior male sloth bear, died in 2009.

Courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo

People think of zoos as places where animals live. But as living collections, they are also places where animals die.

Staffers who cared for the zoo animals who died this year at Smithsonian's National Zoo tell their stories of loss.

"It's something you get used to, but never really get used to," says David Kessler, small-mammal keeper at the zoo.

This story was produced by Emily Botein. The Obituary Project was produced by Botein with Posey Gruener and edited by Deborah George. Production support from Robin Wise. The Obituary Project was made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.