Anyone who has ever visited the Buttonwood Park Zoo knows about the bobcats. Max and Mayzie might be the cute three-year-old kittens who stole the show, but Sprite and Salsa were the female elders who came before them. In their early twenties, Sprite and Salsa outlived the life expectancy for bobcats, even in human care.

Buttonwood Park Zoo via Facebook

Buttonwood Park Zoo provided Sprite and Salsa a forever home after being found orphaned as kittens in separate locations in Virginia. The average life expectancy for bobcats in the wild is 10 to 12 years and 18 years in human care. Salsa, who passed away in her habitat back in February of 2021, lived to be 21 and a half years old. According to Buttonwood Park Zoo, she passed as a result of age-related disease complications from a tumor on her parathyroid gland.

Sprite lived to see 22 and a half years old and was one of the oldest living bobcats at a facility accredited by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Buttonwood Park Zoo via Facebook

According to Buttonwood Park Zoo, Sprite was in late-stage kidney failure and was humanely euthanized last week, surrounded by her caretakers.

“Sprite was a mellow cat and described as a sweetheart,” Buttonwood Park Zoo commented. “A picky eater at times, Sprite always loved her whole prey items.”

Buttonwood Park Zoo via Facebook

Salsa passed away earlier this year. Although she was Sprite’s opposite in personality, she was still loved by all who met her.

“Salsa, as her name may imply, was feisty and adventurous and never turned down a meal,” Buttonwood Park Zoo said. “She loved sensory enrichment, the stinkier the better, loved to play around, and was the first one to investigate enrichment offerings.”

Buttonwood Park Zoo via Facebook

Sprite and Salsa were best friends whose presence will be fiercely missed at the Zoo.

“Both Sprite and Salsa were beloved by their keepers,” Buttonwood Park Zoo said. “Together they would play, snuggle, and groom each other. They were both fantastic cats according to anyone who knew them, and they will be deeply missed.”

Buttonwood Park Zoo via Facebook

Wacky, Weird and Wondrous: Check Out the Sea Creatures Near the New Marine Monument

NOAA's Deep Connections 2019 expeditions saw scientists explore deep undersea features using remotely operated vehicles in and around the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. From the truly breathtaking to the positively petrifying, here are some of the incredible critters they found in the depths.