Cheetah at Baton Rouge Zoo euthanized due to old age

Published: Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The staff at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo had to say goodbye to a male cheetah last week. The 12-year-old cheetah was euthanized due to age-related ailments.

According to the BREC, the cheetah was experiencing a decline in health during the past month. Keepers noticed he was less active, especially within the past week and that he also exhibited respiratory issues.

Necropsy results are pending.

"Our veterinary and keeper staff did an incredible job making sure he was comfortable until the end," said General Curator Sam Winslow. "The bond Zoo Keepers form with their animals is very strong; it's our job to know when an animal is suffering. Our experienced veterinary staff had to make the difficult decision of when to say goodbye."

The cheetah was born at San Diego Wild Animal Park and came to Baton Rouge from Dickerson Park Zoo in February of 2010. Cheetahs have a median life expectancy of 15 years.

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo has a long history of caring for cheetahs and helping conserve them in the wild. The Zoo is a long-time financial supporter of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF).

The CCF was founded in 1990 by Dr. Laurie Marker. CCF's mission is to be an internationally recognized center of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their eco-systems, working with all stakeholders to achieve best practice in the conservation and management of the world's cheetahs.

CCF's work to save the wild cheetah and its wilderness habitat is successful because it works on all aspects of the cheetah's plight, through education and public outreach, applied conservation biology and management, public policy, and science and research.

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