18-year-old jaguar undergoes medical exam at Zoo Miami after experiencing loss of appetite

MIAMI – An 18-year-old female jaguar at Zoo Miami was anesthetized Monday and transferred to the zoo’s animal hospital for a full set of examinations to determine the cause of her health issues.

Reina, a 105-pound jaguar, has been undergoing a series of examinations after experiencing lethargy and appetite loss for several days, according to Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill.

Dr. Marisa Bezjian, the Associate Veterinarian at Zoo Miami, “was in charge of the Animal Health Team through the various procedures, which included radiographs, blood and urine collection, an oral examination (and) tooth cleaning,” according to a Zoo Miami news release.

Magill said an abdominal ultrasound examination was also conducted on Reina by consulting veterinary internist Dr. Luis Macho.

While the initial results did not reveal any critical issues, several small cysts were found in Reina’s abdominal cavity. These cysts were previously noted during previous exams, and doctors believe that they may be hormonal and age-related.

Zoo Miami said Reina has since been returned to her habitat enclosure, where she has recovered well from the anesthesia and will continue to be closely monitored.

Jaguars are the largest cat in the Americas and are found in tropical forests across Mexico and South America.

With a normal lifespan of 12-15 years in the wild, jaguars are considered “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Reina, an18-year-old jaguar, goes through medical procedure at Zoo Miami hospital. (Zoo Miami)

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Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.