OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)- Kiara, 15-year-old female snow leopard at Oklahoma City Zoo, passed away on Friday.
Kiara developed a respiratory illness and decreased appetite. Zoo veterinary staff discovered end-stage heart and lung disease. Caretakers then made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Kiara. However, she passed before the medication could be administered.
A necropsy will determine exact cause of death.
Kiara came to the Zoo in 2006 from the Tulsa Zoo and resided in the Cat Forest habitat alongside two other snow leopards for eleven years.
Kiara was quirky and confident with an adorable habit of dipping the tip of her tail in water on warm days. Kiara loved to eat rabbit and quail. She had four offspring.
The median life expectancy for snow leopards is 15.1 years. They are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature with an estimated population of 4,000 in the wild.