World's Oldest Snow Leopard Dies at Santa Barbara Zoo
Everett the snow leopard (Photo: Santa Barbara Zoo)
By edhat staff
Everett, the world’s oldest snow leopard, passed away just three weeks before his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, May 21 at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
Zoo officials report Everett had been receiving treatment for ailments common with elderly big cats, including osteoarthritis, renal failure, and hypertension.
“In the last few months, we have seen a loss in body condition, deterioration of his coat, and decreased mobility. This past week, he had trouble getting up and moving around, despite an increase in medication for his osteoarthritis. Because he was declining quickly, we felt humane euthanasia was the best welfare option for him,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care & Health.
Everett's companion, Zoe, passed away in February. “Both Everett and Zoe lived very long and full lives and have been wonderful ambassadors for this endangered species, which faces so many challenges in the wild,” said Dr. Barnes.
Everett’s body has been sent to Midwestern University in Arizona for a study on the vascular anatomy of snow leopards. He was considered the oldest snow leopard in any zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Snow leopards are critically endangered and currently number between an estimated 3,900 and 6,400 in the mountains of Central Asia. They have long been prized as hunter’s trophies, destroyed as predators of domestic flocks, and sought as a source of valuable fur.
February 19, 2019: Female Snow Leopard Zoe Dies at Santa Barbara Zoo