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Dallas Zoo Mourns Loss of Cheetah


Cheetah Brutus | Image by Dallas Zoo

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The Dallas Zoo confirmed the death of one of their cheetahs last Friday, October 28.

Cheetah Brutus was 10 years old at his time of death. In the wild, cheetahs typically live from 10 to 12 years, but in captivity, the life span increases to close to 20 years.

In the weeks leading up to his passing, Brutus had developed a poor appetite and seemed lethargic and weak to his keepers.

Veterinarians performed tests, but they could not determine what was ailing him. Brutus’ health continued to worsen. Vets noticed that he was showing signs of kidney failure as well as infection.

Brutus was part of a pair of “cheetah brothers” at the zoo. The zoo acquired him and his brother Finnick in 2021. Both cheetahs were in the Wilds of Africa exhibit. The zoo characterized Brutus as laid-back and easygoing.

The brothers were very close, snuggling together in their habitat and grooming each other.

In the Dallas Zoo’s statement on Twitter they said, “with a heavy heart, we share the news that 10-year-old cheetah Brutus passed away earlier this week. Despite intensive care from the animal care and vet teams, he passed away on Monday, likely of kidney failure. Brutus will be missed dearly by the many who cared for him.”

Though the zoo will be mourning this loss, it might be softened by having welcomed new life earlier this month. On October 13, one of the zoo’s six giraffes gave birth to a baby female giraffe.

Another new addition to the zoo was a baby white-cheeked gibbon born this past September named Kip. White-cheeked gibbons are a critically endangered species. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the population has declined by 80% in the past 45 years.

While not endangered, cheetahs are considered a vulnerable species. Their population has declined from about 100,000 in 1900 to around 7,500 to 10,000 today. They are already extinct in 13 countries that they used to inhabit. Most of the cheetahs still living in the wild today are found in east and southern Africa.

The Dallas Zoo has also suffered several notable deaths in its giraffe population in recent months, as reported by The Dallas Express. First, a young calf that had been born on July 4 had to be put down after it suffered catastrophic fractures in its right leg.

Then two more giraffes died in a single week toward the end of October 2021. The oldest animal in the herd, 19-year-old Auggie, died from liver failure, while the tallest giraffe, Jesse, passed away after a short bout with an unnamed disease.

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26 days ago

Why have the Dallas Zoo? They can’t take proper care of the animals. Close it down.