SW Indiana zoo euthanizes 18-year-old clouded leopard

April 9, 2022 GMT

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An 18-year-old clouded leopard that was a longtime fixture at a southwestern Indiana zoo has been euthanized after the elderly animal was found to be suffering from renal failure, zoo officials said.

The Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden announced Miri’s passing Tuesday, saying the big cat was beloved by the Evansville zoo’s staff and visitors, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Zoo officials said in a Facebook post that the decision to euthanize Miri was made after a medical exam found that she “was suffering from renal failure, resulting in pain and discomfort.”

“The median life expectancy for a clouded leopard is 13.1 years. Miri was one of the oldest clouded leopards in managed populations,” the zoo added in its post.

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Clouded leopards are native to Southeast Asia and are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. That group says clouded leopards are threatened by commercial and residential development, and also hunted for the illegal wildlife trade.

Miri came to live at the Evansville zoo in March 2005 from Columbus Zoo, and she was a favorite of both zoo staff and guests.

“Dubbed ‘Princess Miri’ by many of the staff here, this elegant cat captured our hearts with her photogenic disposition and her frequent, adorable vocalizations,” the zoo’s Facebook post said.