Toledo Zoo snow leopard dies

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo Zoo's male snow leopard, Nikko, has died.

The snow leopard's activity levels had recently decreased and he showed labored breathing.

"Despite veterinary treatment, Nikko's condition deteriorated rapidly on Monday, Sept. 8," said Randi Meyerson, DVM, the Zoo's Assistant Director of Animal Programs.

"Our veterinary team made every effort to help him," Jeff Sailer, the Executive Director of the Zoo, said. "Nikko was a charismatic animal and a tremendous ambassador for his species. He will be missed."

The median life expectancy of a snow leopard in a zoo environment is 14.1 years; Nikko was 13 years old. He came to Toledo in 2003 on loan from Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va.

Although plans have not been finalized, the Toledo Zoo will work with the snow leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the hopes of getting another male as a companion for its female.

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