|Death: ||Jul., 2013|
A death at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo has left the facility devoid of bobcats.
The zoo announced that Juan the bobcat, a 15-year-old animal brought here shortly after his birth in Evansville in 1997, died this week.
The death was not entirely unexpected, according to Cheryl Piropato, the zoo's education and communications director.
"He was 15, which is a fairly advanced age for a bobcat," Piropato said.
"And he had been suffering from kidney problems for several years, problems that are not all that different from what house cats suffer from."
Plus, Piropato added, his sister and littermate, Evita, who had come with him to the zoo, died last year.
That death left him as the sole bobcat in the first exhibit you see walking into the zoo, and alone for the first time in his life.
"It wasn't unexpected," Piropato said. "Still, it's a sad occasion."
More than a hundred messages were posted about Juan on the zoo's Facebook page within hours of the announcement of his death.
"He was one of the first animals to greet visitors to the zoo … will miss him," one message said.
"He brought lots of happiness to children and adults alike in his lifetime," another message said. "RIP Juan, and our condolences to the zoo staff on your loss."
Deaths at the zoo do affect the staff, many of whom develop strong bonds with the animals they care for, Piropato said.
They also take their toll on zoo visitors, who learn the animals' names.
"Our zoo fans get attached, as well," she said.
Bobcats are commonly found Canada, the United States and Mexico and typically like to stick to wooded areas.
Piropato said that the zoo might try to find a replacement bobcat for its exhibit, or wait a little while to make some needed repairs since the exhibit will be empty.
But with Juan's death still fresh, zoo officials will take their time before making a final decision on what to do next, according to Piropato.
Evita The Bobcat (____ - 2012)*
Created by: Steve
Record added: Aug 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 114785826
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Me & Badger ♥
Added: Oct. 28, 2013
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In Memory Of A Zoo Favorite ♥.....|
Added: Aug. 2, 2013