Akron Zoo mourns death of male snow leopard – Ravenna Record Courier

Posted: July 31, 2017 at 8:48 pm

By TIM TROGLEN Staff Writer Published: July 31, 2017 12:57 PM

AKRON The Akron Zoo announced today that Roscoe, a 14-year old male snow leopard, was euthanized on July 26 after being diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer that severely affected the bone in his lower jaw.

According to Doug Piekarz, Akron Zoo president CEO, Roscoe has been a beloved member of our family since he arrived from San Antonio. He will be missed by all of us. I want to thank our professional animal care staff who cared for him attentively every day, and our veterinary care staff who so diligently treated him during his illness to ensure his welfare,

According to the Snow Leopard Trust, at least one snow leopard is killed each day in the wild. With only a few thousand left on earth, we recognize the importance of the work we are doing to ensure the Snow Leopards survival. Roscoe will continue to play a critical role with his genetics preserved to help create a more genetically diverse future generation of snow leopards.

According to zoo officials, the median life expectancy of a snow leopard is 14 years old.

Roscoe was a resident of the Akron Zoo since 2004 and sired seven cubs while in Akron, three of which are still at the zoo.

Roscoe will be missed deeply by the zoo staff, volunteers and community, said Dr. Kim Cook, Akron Zoo director of animal health and conservation. He was a laid-back cat who had a great bond with Shanti. In fact they were able to be together at all times, which is rare for snow leopards, which are typically solitary animals.

Officials noticed Roscoe was not feeling well a few weeks ago through a change in his appetite and behavior.

The vet staff at the zoo performed an exam, which led to the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma bone cancer in Roscoes jaw. His appetite and activity began to rapidly decrease and the decision was made to humanely euthanize Roscoe. His annual preventive medicine exam last summer showed no signs of the cancer.

Snow leopards are an endangered species, and the zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan, which includes a total of 167 snow leopards. Participation in the program has led to three successful litters with Roscoe and the zoos female snow leopard Shanti. Two cubs were born in 2012 and 2014, and three cubs were born in 2016 and are still at the Akron Zoo, according to officials. The other four cubs are at other AZA-accredited zoos in the U.S.

In 2010 and 2012, the Akron Zoo worked with researchers to freeze Roscoes sperm to potentially use in the future for artificial insemination. With the advances in veterinary medicine, Roscoes legacy could continue for many generations and help prevent the extinction of snow leopards.

Roscoe was born May 18, 2003, at the San Antonio Zoo and came to the Akron Zoo Dec. 15, 2004.

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Akron Zoo mourns death of male snow leopard - Ravenna Record Courier

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