A longtime resident of Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo has passed away. Mesker Park shared the news with the community via their Facebook page.

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Mesker Park Zoo shared the news this morning of the passing of one of their jaguars. He was known by the zoo as Cuxtal. The big cat would have celebrated his nineteenth birthday this coming January. He had been in the care of Mesker Park Zoo since coming from another facility in 2008.

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Cause of Death

In the statement made to the Mesker Park Zoo Facebook page, they explain that after undergoing an examination while under sedation with anesthesia, Cuxtal simply "did not recover" from the examination.

Recently, Cuxtal’s animal care team noticed a change in behavior and decreased appetite. Our Veterinary staff performed an exam with diagnostic testing under anesthesia. Cuxtal did not recover from this procedure, after every extraordinary effort was made to bring him back. A post mortem examination was done and results noted severe kidney disease and lymphoma of the liver and spleen.

In addition to the autopsy performed on Cuxtel, a Covid test was also administered as a precaution. The zoo says that the test came back negative.

His Longtime Companion

Cuxtal was not the only jaguar residing at Mesker Park Zoo. It is home to Beliza, a female jaguar who along with Cuxtal parented two female cubs who were born at the zoo in 2009. We recently reported that Beliza, was recently diagnosed with cancer. However, the zoo says that while Beliza will likely notice Cuxtal's absence, they say it is completely normal for her to be by herself as jaguars are typically solitary animals. You can read the zoo's full statement below. Of course, our hearts go out to everyone who held Cuxtal in their hearts.

5 Reasons to Visit Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana

There is quite an adventure on the West Side of Evansville, Indiana. What kind of adventure - It's a zoo! Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Gardens is open 365 days a year and offers family memberships.



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