AP NEWS

Zoo’s 18-year-old leopard dies of cancer

May 1, 2019

An elderly Amur leopard that joined Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in 2016 has died after cancer spread in its body, the zoo announced Tuesday.

“We are comforted in knowing that Ussuri lived a full, happy life in his retirement here, and that this cancer did not result in any prolonged discomfort,” the zoo shared on social media.

Ussuri died April 23, three days after his care team noticed swelling on one side of his neck, the zoo said.

He underwent a veterinary exam when medications didn’t reduce the swelling.

The exam showed cancer affected the back of his throat and lymph nodes in his neck, the zoo said, noting the leopard stopped breathing during recovery.

The zoo is awaiting a report indicating the type of cancer Ussuri had. The facility described the cancer as extensive.

Ussuri was 18 years old. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Amur leopards can live up to 20 years in captivity. 

This marks the third death at the zoo in recent weeks. In mid-April, the zoo announced two sea lions died within weeks apart. The animals were sisters and joined the zoo in 2002.

The zoo opened for the season Saturday.

asloboda@jg.net