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April 3, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Aging snow leopard euthanized at Woodland Park Zoo

(Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo / Ryan Hawk)

A 19-year-old snow leopard at Woodland Park Zoo was put down over the weekend due to age-related health issues, according to zoo officials.

 The female cat, named Nadia, was experiencing a decline in health, including chronic kidney problems, which is a typical ailment of older cats. She became less active and was eating less in recent months and even less in the past week, according to zoo officials.

A preliminary necropsy showed she had suffered from advanced, age-related kidney failure.

“Our keeper staff gave her extra TLC and kept her as comfortable as possible during her final days,” Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, a curator at the zoo, said in a news release. “Zookeepers develop a strong bond with the animals, and it’s always difficult to lose an animal in their care. Nadia was a very gentle cat and will be deeply missed by the keepers and by our volunteers and guests as well.”

Snow leopards in captivity live 17 to 19 years old. There isn’t enough information to determine how long they live in the wild.

Nadia came to the Woodland Park Zoo in 1996 on a breeding loan from Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Miss. She gave birth in 2000 to three cubs. A 7-year-old female and 6-year-old male snow leopard remain at the zoo.

According to the zoo’s news release:

Woodland Park Zoo has a long history of caring for snow leopards and conserving them in the wild, since the zoo’s first snow leopards arrived in 1972 from the USSR. As part of the zoo’s partnership with field conservation projects around the world, the zoo partners with the Seattle-based Snow Leopard Trust (SLT). The Trust was created in 1981 by the late Woodland Park Zoo staff member Helen Freeman. Through innovative programs, effective partnerships and the latest science, the SLT is saving these magnificent cats and improving the lives of people who live in the snow leopard’s range countries of Central Asia.

 

Comments | More in General news | Topics: euthanized, snow leopard, Woodland Park Zoo

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