GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Bianca, a black jaguar who has been a longtime resident of Garden City’s Lee Richardson Zoo, passed away on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, suspicious masses were detected during a routine examination for Bianca. She was euthanized after widespread cancer was found during a follow-up procedure.
“Bianca was facing a very painful recovery, and even if we could remove all the masses, the cancer was going to reoccur, so it was kinder to let her go now before her condition declined,” said veterinarian Eric Tuller.
Bianca was 20 years old. She came to Garden City from Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona in March of 1998 with her sister, Amelia. Animal Care staff will observe and work with Amelia but anticipate no issues as she adjusts to the passing of her companion. The median life expectancy for jaguars in human care is 17.8 years.
Jaguars are the largest cat in the Americas and the only one that roars. They are the third largest of the big cats, behind lions and tigers. They are critically endangered in the US and classified as near threatened worldwide due to habitat loss (deforestation) and overhunting.