Lief, a sitatunga antelope, “still had a lot of life to live,” Brights Zoo said on Facebook.

A “beloved” antelope choked to death on a plastic cap from a snack pouch, announced Brights Zoo in Tennessee over the weekend.

Lief, a 7-year-old sitatunga antelope, died Saturday after choking on the cap of a squeezable fruit sauce pouch. The zoo, located in Limestone, about 85 miles northeast of Knoxville, confirmed this incident on Facebook. Such pouches are banned on zoo grounds.

Sitatunga antelopes can live up to 22 years in captivity, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and Lief “still had a lot of life to live,” according to Brights Zoo.

Zoo Visitor's Rule Violation Causes Fatality for Endangered Antelope
The antelope in captivity choked to death on juice pouches, allegedly thrown by visitors

“Some ask why we don’t allow squeezable pouches into the zoo. The reason is simple — the packaging is dangerous to our animals,” the zoo explained on Facebook. “If you look at these lids from an animal perspective, it looks like food,” the zoo added.

Despite bag searches, some visitors sneak in these pouches, the zoo noted. Visitors are allowed to enjoy their squeezable fruit pouches in designated picnic areas in the parking lots and can re-enter the zoo as many times as they wish.

Commenters on Facebook expressed outrage over the incident. Responding to one comment, the zoo mentioned it doesn’t believe anyone will take responsibility for Lief’s death.

Another commenter shared witnessing adults throwing food and trash into animal enclosures. The zoo encouraged reporting such behavior immediately so staff can remove the objects and identify the culprits.

Brights Zoo, a private and family-owned facility, houses rare and endangered species as well as more common exotic creatures, according to its website.