Rose, a Hereford at Smithsonian Kids’ Farm, dies at 19

The 19-year-old Hereford at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Kids’ Farm has been euthanized.

Zookeepers said they noticed that Rose had a persistent cough and wasn’t moving or eating as much as normal. So they started observing her closely for several weeks.



An exam by a veterinarian revealed that she had fluid in her chest and lesions on her lungs, according to a statement from the zoo.

Veterinarians treated Rose with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, but her condition did not improve, according to the zoo.

Rose, a Hereford at the Kids’ Zoo, was euthanized at the age of 19 after an illness. (Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute)

Staff at the zoo decided to euthanize Rose when her condition did not improve.

The median life expectancy for female Hereford cows is about 18 years, according to the zoo.

A final pathology report will provide more information in the coming weeks.

Rose is remembered by zookeepers for her “sweet and independent personality.” She was the oldest in her herd and enjoyed frolicking in the grass with the younger heifers. Those included a 3-year-old Hereford named Willow and a 4-year-old Holstein named Magnolia.

Zookeepers said they would find Rose and Magnolia resting together and grooming each other.

While cattle are referred to as cows, the term “cow” specifically describes an adult female who has birthed a calf, according to the zoo.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up