Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
From the National Zoo:
“During a routine medical exam yesterday, Nov. 24, veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo discovered that their male clouded leopard had life-threatening tumors. Keepers had noticed that Tai, a 13-and-a-half-year-old male, had been chewing gingerly on the right side of his mouth for the past week and changed his food consumption, which prompted keepers to notify the veterinarian team. A decision was made to perform an oral-health assessment and his annual health checkup simultaneously because anesthetizing animals can pose risks.
During the exam, radiographs revealed that Tai had a large amount of fluid within his chest causing several of his lung lobes to collapse. After removing some of the fluid from his chest, veterinarians found several masses of varying sizes in Tai’s chest. These clinical signs pointed to an aggressive malignant tumor. Because of the seriousness of the tumors, veterinarians elected to humanely euthanize Tai.
Tai was one of the first residents on Asia Trail when it opened in 2006. He and his partner, Mook, the Zoo’s female clouded leopard, lived well together but never had any offspring. (more…)