John Ball Zoo snow leopard Elsie dies at 18

Grand Rapids

Elsie, a snow leopard at John Ball Zoo, has died. (courtesy John Ball Zoo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Elsie, an 18-year-old snow leopard at John Ball Zoo, has died.

Elsie was euthanized after she was diagnosed with advanced kidney failure, the zoo said in a release.

Elsie, a snow leopard at John Ball Zoo, has died. (courtesy John Ball Zoo)

The zoo says her health began failing last week. After trying a variety of treatments, the decision was made to humanly euthanize her.

Kidney failure is common in snow leopards that are older, the zoo said, and Elsie was one of the oldest snow leopards in human care.

She was born on June 25, 2003 and came to John Ball Zoo in November of 2018.

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

The zoo said IUCN Red List has snow leopards listed as “vulnerable.” It’s estimated there are less than 10,000 adults in the wild, the zoo said. John Ball Zoo participates in the snow leopard Species Survival Plan.

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