Amur leopard euthanized at zoo

Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram

Viktor, a critically endangered Amur leopard, was euthanized Saturday at Lee Richardson Zoo due to declining health. Viktor had been a resident of the zoo for 13 years.

The condition came on quickly with Stage 4 renal failure being identified during an earlier routine physical examination.  Staff had been providing supportive care since the issue was detected.  A number of older cats in the population are having the same issue according to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program leader.

“Based on his condition, we knew the time would be coming but that doesn’t make it any easier,” said Zoo Director Kristi Newland.  “Staff and guests alike will miss him.”

Viktor was 16 years old.  He was the second Amur leopard to live at Lee Richardson Zoo, coming to Garden City in April of 2007 from Potawatomi Zoo.  Zoo staff will work with the SSP to bring in another Amur leopard ambassador to continue to raise awareness for their species.

Amur leopards are very agile and strong.  They adapt to almost any habitat if it can support their needs.  They are critically endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation,  declining prey numbers, and poaching.  The Amur leopard, along with the Amur tiger, is a focus of conservation action in Northeast Asia.