Published Friday, August 25, 2006
Buta, a 16-year-old African leopard, died Wednesday evening at the Topeka Zoo.
Preliminary necropsy results indicate the cause of death included kidney problems and gastric abnormalities.
Zoo director Mike Coker said Buta was found lethargic earlier in the day, and veterinarians gave him treatment.
Most African leopards live from 12 to 20 years.
Coker said Buta had been in fairly good health and received an annual physical examination two weeks ago that revealed an indication of early renal disease and arthritis in the right hip.
Buta was one of two African black leopards acquired from the Kansas City Zoo in November 2003 for the jungle cats exhibit.
Both animals were captive born around January 1990. They were confiscated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in 1994 from a pet shop in the Chicago area.