Cheetah Health Dec 10, 2013

When you work closely with someone day in and day out—regardless of whether they're a human coworker or an animal you care for—you get to know their quirks and behavior. So when animal care staff noticed that Granger, one of four male cheetahs that live at the Zoo, wasn't eating as much as he usually does, they watched him closely. They observed his stomach looked a little unusual and that he was stretching more than usual—a sign that he might be uncomfortable. The team decided that a veterinary exam was necessary.

At the exam, the veterinary team discovered a mass on Granger's belly and took a biopsy. The results of the biopsy are pending, but the animal care team determined that the mass needed to come out immediately. The animal care team collaborated with a veterinary surgeon to remove it.

Granger is being treated at the Zoo's Intensive Care Unit at the Veterinary Hospital for several days until he is cleared to return to the Cheetah Conservation Station where he can be near his brothers Draco and Zabini. The veterinary team is working closely with animal care to monitor his health and give him the best care possible. He is recovering as well as we could hope, but this is a very serious health issue, and the animal care staff will continue to watch him very carefully.

Granger's illness and consequent treatment is an excellent example of the way that, even with a large and varied animal collection, the Zoo's professional staff is able to provide individual attention and care to each animal.

As some of you may recall, Granger's brother Draco has also been having some health problems this fall. He has a long history of not eating well and was consequently losing weight. The animal care team worked extremely hard developing innovative ways to make sure he ate every day. He still doesn't eat as much as the animal care team would like and is underweight. Animal care staff continue to keep a close eye on him and think of ways to tempt to eat as much of his diet as possible. To further assess Draco's health and any possible underlying issues, he will have an exam, including X-rays and ultrasounds, at the veterinary hospital later this week.