Sunday, June 23

NC Zoo Announces Death Of Two Beloved Animals

ASHEBORO NC – Last week the NC shared the sad news of the loss of two of its animals.


On Aug 11th 2021, the NC Zoo announced on Facebook the passing of Paco the harbor seal. The cause of death had not yet been determined not yet determined, but the post shared to Facebook noted Paco did have a large lung mass. Paco lived at the NC Zoo’s Rocky Coast exhibit for 13 years.

Paco the harbor seal
Paco the harbor seal (NC Zoo / Facebook Page)

“Paco was an amazing seal. He was handsome and strong. Super smart. Craved challenges. Always made his keepers think and try new ways of doing things. And no matter what, he always made us laugh and smile. From the goofy looks to the exasperated eye rolls when we weren’t doing something to his liking to the crazy spurts of energy during sessions to the underwater grumblings and vocals during the summer season. He was truly one of a kind.”

Keeper Sally


Just 3 days after Paco’s passing the NC Zoo again had tragic news when they announced that Pearl the Ostrich had died last Wednesday. Pearl had gone under anesthesia when veterinarians discovered that she had severe reproductive disease which carried a “guarded prognosis”. Zoo officials say they made the difficult decision to euthanize her.
Pearl was 19 years old and lived on Watani Grasslands for 18 years, after arriving at the Zoo as a one-year-old.

 Pearl the Ostrich
Pearl the Ostrich (Scott Pelkey / Acme News Archive)

“Pearl was a bit of a diva! She had a sense for fashion and would often inspect the Zoofari crowds to pick out the earrings, watches, & cell phones she thought most flashy. She wasn’t afraid to let keepers know if she didn’t like our outfits – rain jackets, head bands, & puffy jackets were a hard pass for Pearl! She was a bird whose respect you had to earn, but once you did she showed you all her funny quirks, played grape games, & would let you warm your hands under her wings on cold winter mornings. She was special & will be greatly missed by all her adoring fans.” –

Keeper Jade