A news item from San Francisco Zoo sent to me by Jenn Castner of the Altai Project tells how carnivore keepers are giving extraordinary care to snow leopard grand dame Ming-Wah who has kidney failure.
“Did you know the median life expectancy for snow leopards is no more than 12 years old? So when our nearly 19-year-old snow leopard Ming-Wah started showing signs of her age, we were not completely surprised. Unfortunately, Ming-Wah has confirmed kidney failure, and increased fluids are helping with the medical symptoms stemming from this diagnosis. In an effort to address this concern, carnivore keepers have spent time training her to voluntarily accept injected fluids once a day. Zoo staff will continue to treat and monitor her symptoms as needed, and they are extremely proud to have provided a high quality of life for our beautiful snow leopard, who has far outlived her life expectancy. Our 15- year-old male snow leopard, Rigel, is still generally healthy for his age, aside from the removal of a benign mass in February.”
Congratulations to the zoo team who are pushing the boundaries of giving captive snow leopards good quality of life in their senior years.