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OPERA MUSIC AGITATES AFRICAN ANIMAL TO DEATH

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Opera music proved fatally stressful for a cud-chewing mammal from the forests of central Africa.

The okapi threw a fit, collapsed and died in Copenhagen Zoo as arias filled the air from a concert by the Royal Danish Orchestra.A zoo spokesman said the 5-year-old okapi was overwhelmed by last Saturday night's singing and music at an adjoining park.

"Unusual sounds give wild animals stress and the okapi started to pant violently from shock when the opera music began. It threw a fit and dropped dead in its compound," he said.

The okapi's mate and 6-month-old calf were untroubled, but the orchestra offered to change the venue for future open-air concerts or erect sound-insulation devices if its music is deemed a threat to the lives of zoo animals.