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Tue Oct 10, 2017, 04:18 PM

Idaho Falls Zoo announces beloved snow leopard is terminally ill [View all]

Idaho Falls Zoo announces beloved snow leopard is terminally ill

EastIdahoNews.com staff

Local Updated at 12:19 pm, October 10th, 2017

The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS — A significant and sudden weight loss in July was the first sign that alerted Zookeeper Dallas LaDucer that something was changing with the 7-year-old male snow leopard, Ketu.

“We spend every day with over 300 animals that are as close to us as family members. We know them very well,” states Idaho Falls Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Rhonda Aliah. “We recognize how they vary in age, level of care required, personalities, and preferences. When one of them begins to act differently, or show physical signs of change, we notice. That level of familiarity is how we noticed something was going on with Ketu,” explains Aliah.

The zoo’s cats are trained to step on a scale to record their weight at least once each month. While it is normal for a cat’s weight to fluctuate with the seasons, Ketu’s weight loss seemed more pronounced. “An obvious weight loss was my first red flag, even though he was eating well and acting normally at the time,” says LaDucer who documented the weight loss and reported it to veterinary staff Dr. Rhonda Aliah and Veterinary Technician Alison Holderman.

Within 2-3 days, Ketu’s appetite suddenly declined and he began acting lethargic. The animal care team then sedated Ketu and took blood for testing. The results that came back were definite and disheartening. At only 7 years old, Ketu was diagnosed with acute renal (kidney) failure.



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