Michigan zoo announces death of 18-year-old snow leopard

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan zoo has announced the death of a beloved snow leopard.

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According to WXMI and WOOD, the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids took to social media on Thursday to say Elsie, an 18-year-old female, was euthanized after a battle with kidney failure.

“We are deeply saddened to share with you the passing of Elsie, our female snow leopard,” the zoo wrote in an Instagram post. “At 18 years old, Elsie was among the oldest known snow leopards in human care.”

The zoo said medical staff diagnosed Elsie with advanced kidney failure last week. Unfortunately, her treatments were unsuccessful, according to the post.

“Given Elsie’s lack of response to treatment, her prognosis and age, the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize Elsie,” the post said of the large cat, who was born in June 2003 and came to the zoo from Iowa in November 2017.

“Elsie was a beautiful snow leopard that never missed out on an afternoon nap,” the post continued. “She will be greatly missed.”

>> See the post here

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources considers snow leopards vulnerable, according to the zoo. As of 2016, fewer than 3,500 mature snow leopards remained in the wild, the IUCN Red List reported.

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