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Zoo Boise Mourns the Passing of Dean the Llama

Zoo Boise is saddened to announce that Dean, the zoo’s popular llama, has been euthanized. Dean had faced common age-related changes including a recurring ulcer on his left eye and arthritis in his back and front right leg. In recent weeks, his health had further declined; the poor prognosis and decline in quality of life were the deciding factors in euthanizing the llama.

Dean was nearly 22 years old and came to Zoo Boise in 2003. He was named after Dean Martin and was one of four llamas at the zoo named after the Rat Pack.

“Dean was one of the most popular animals at Zoo Boise. Whether he was enjoying getting his back scratched from guests at the Zoo Farm or greeting his adoring fans at Zoobilee, he always brought a smile to the people he met,” said Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “This tough decision was made all the harder by our current situation. Knowing Dean’s age and condition, we had hoped to be able to invite the public, our volunteers and staff to say goodbye, but current conditions couldn’t allow for that to happen.”

Since the Zoo Farm opened in 2010, along with the zoo’s goats and sheep, Dean helped to raise more than $260,000 for the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund. Revenue from the conservation fund supports the protection of wild animals in Idaho and around the world.

Zoo Boise invites the public to share a favorite picture they have with Dean on the zoo’s social media pages with #deanthellama so we can continue to spread the joy he brought to us all every day.