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    Shanti yawns while guarding her snow leopard cub who was born on May 24th at the Sacramento Zoo after they venture outside their cage on the morning of July 15, 2003. The mom and cub have been venturing outside their cage in the early morning and late afternoon.


    A snow leopard cub born May 24th at the Sacramento Zoo peaks up for his mom Shanti's attention while making a brief appearance outside it's den on Tuesday July 15, 2003.


    A snow leopard cub born May 24th plays on his mother Shanti's back at the Sacramento Zoo on Tuesday July 15, 2003.

  • ANNE CHADWICK WILLIAMS / Bee file, 2005

    Shanti, a female snow leopard, waits to meet her new male partner, Ramir, at the Sacramento Zoo Thursday, March 3, 2005

Sacramento Zoo euthanizes injured snow leopard Shanti

Published: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 9:08 am

The Sacramento Zoo has euthanized Shanti, its 20-year-old snow leopard, after she suffered traumatic injuries.

An entry on the zoo blog said Shanti was euthanized on Friday, nearly a week after keepers arriving to work on July 7 found the animal with injuries to her back, including damage to her vertebrae. Shanti also had a bite wound, indicating that a fight had occurred during the night with her companion, a juvenile snow leopard with whom she had lived for the last seven months.

Antibiotics and treatment failed to improve the leopard's condition, the blog entry reported.

Shanti was one of the oldest animals in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. She came to Sacramento in 1997 from Edmonton, Canada and gave birth to four litters since her arrival.

"Shanti is an icon at the zoo, an excellent and patient mother and an incredible character," Leslie Field, the zoo's supervisor of mammals, was quoted as saying. "She was well loved and will be missed by keepers and visitors alike."

Snow leopards, listed as endangered, come from alpine forests in Asia.

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Read more articles by Mary Lynne Vellinga

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