One Of Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Beloved Cheetahs Has Died
Sad, but true Roger Williams Park Zoo has announced the passing of another beloved animal.
Just last month, red panda Sha-Lei, was humanly euthanized after battling heart failure for quite some time. Now zoo officials say one of their female cheetahs has also been euthanized after a sharp decline in quality of life.
Like Sha-Lei, cheetah Johari had been dealing with a medical condition for some time. At nearly nine years old, she is an elder cheetah and had developed gastritis, or inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.
Gastritis is actually very common among cheetahs, but can be very challenging for zoo medical staff to treat and manage. For Johari, the zoo had been treating her with dietary changes and medications while closely monitoring bloodwork and performing a gastrointestinal endoscopy with help from veterinary internal medicine specialists.
Sadly these treatments were not enough in recent weeks and zoo staff saw Johari's quality of life take a sharp decline. The decision was then made to humanly euthanize the beautiful wildcat on November 7, 2022.
Keeper Laura Issacs described Johari as “the sassy cat of the bunch. Some of her favorite things included: watching the cars on I95 from the rock in her yard, hanging out in the tree and chasing balls. She also liked to greet us by jumping on the fence.”
I know this passing will hit my young daughters pretty hard. The cheetahs are their favorites to see every time we go to Roger Williams Park Zoo and watching them pass near the fence that connects their space to the zebras and wildebeests next door always amuses them.
Luckily for my girls and for thousands of other zoo visitors, Johari was one of four sisters who came to Roger Williams Park Zoo in 2015 and her three siblings are still roaming their section of the zoo and doing well.
Her sisters will all turn nine later this month and I'm sure the zoo staff will do something extra special for them considering the loss they are likely feeling as well.