San Diego

San Diego Zoo's Diabetic Koala Dies

The koala was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes earlier this year and touched the hearts of countless people, the zoo said.

Quincy, the diabetic koala that was fitted with a glucose monitor earlier this summer, was euthanized last week following a bout of pneumonia, the San Diego Zoo announced Thursday.

The koala developed pneumonia a few weeks ago and despite comprehensive medical treatment, its health continued to decline, the zoo said. Zoo veterinarians decided to euthanize the koala because of the severity of his disease.

"Quincy was well known to the public for being one of only a few koalas that have been diagnosed with and treated for diabetes," the zoo said in a statement to NBC 7.

He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in February and was transferred from the Los Angeles Zoo to the San Diego Zoo in May for his medical care.

In June, Quincy was fitted with a continuous glucose monitor to improve his quality of life. Prior to being equipped with the device, zookeepers would have to prick his ears multiple times per day to test his blood glucose levels.

Koalas sleep most of the day and are solitary animals, making it hard for zookeepers to monitor Quincy's blood sugar levels without disturbing him.  

Quincy became a mascot of sorts for many people living with diabetes, especially children. 

"They have something to relate to," Janet Gidner told NBC 7 in June. "They can see that a cute little koala can take on the disease.”

Her two children, Addie, 12, and Nolan, 7, both have Type 1 diabetes.

"(Quincy's) story touched countless people around the globe who are living with diabetes," the zoo said.

It was unclear if Quincy developed pneumonia as a complication of his diabetes. The results of a necropsy are pending.

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