This doesn’t make for pleasant reading from the Korea Times. Poor creatures.  

Only 6 percent of animals die of natural deaths in the Seoul Grand Park Zoo, a city council member said. The rest die of stress or disease. Boo Doo-wan, a member of the Seoul Metropolitan City Council, said that most animals died while trying to get out of their cages or they died of infectious diseases.

Boo said that out of the 516 animals that died between January 2004 and October this year, only 6 percent died natural deaths.

I have never visited Seoul Zoo because I find caged animals depressing but it sounds like the conditions do not compare well to other zoos.

The annual average death rate of the animals in the zoo is 5.8 percent, which is lower than the rate at Taiwan’s Taipei Zoo (6.15 percent) or Ueno Zoo in Japan (18.8 percent). However, most of the animals in foreign zoos die as the result of natural aging.

This is probably the reason that the elephants made a break for it last year when they got the chance.