Zoo's cheetah euthanized | Arkansas Blog

Zoo's cheetah euthanized

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The Little Rock Zoo has euthanized its oldest female cheetah, Zazi, who was ill with kidney disease. A press release from Zoo director Susan Altrui said zoo staff determined her quality of life had significantly declined.

Zazi, who was nearly 17 years old, came to the Zoo in 2012 as the first cheetah in the Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost. Her daughter, Maggie, came, too.

The zoo will soon acquire a new member of the world's fastest land animals, the press release said, at the recommendation of the Cheetah Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Thanks to poaching, habitat loss and other ills afflicted during our dangerous Anthropocene, fewer than 8,000 cheetahs survive in the wild. 

A press release is on the jump.



Zoo Saddened at Loss of Eldest Female Cheetah


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 2, 2018) – The Little Rock Zoo humanely euthanized its oldest female cheetah, Zazi, last week when Zoo staff determined her quality of life had significantly declined after being diagnosed with advanced kidney disease.

Zazi lived at the Little Rock Zoo since 2012 when she opened the Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost with her daughter, Maggie. The pair have occupied the exhibit since. Zoo Director Susan Altrui says the Zoo will soon acquire a new cheetah at the recommendation of the Cheetah Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Full necropsy results will be available soon. Zazi was nearly 17-years-old and was considered quite senior for her species. Maggie, the Zoo’s remaining cheetah, is seven. The median life expectancy for cheetahs living in AZA accredited zoos is 11.7 years.

Cheetahs are critically engendered with less than 8,000 surviving in the wild today. The cheetah is a selected program animal of the AZA SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program. The Little Rock Zoo and other partnering AZA zoos work with organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund to save wild cheetahs. The Zoo collects privately raised dollars for CCF programs and has sent keepers to assist at the CCF headquarters in Namibia. CCF founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, visited Little Rock last fall during a public tour of the U.S. where she spoke at the Little Rock Rotary Club and the Zoo.

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.

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