The Akron Zoo is mourning the loss of their male Sumatran tiger, Leonidas, “Leo,” who was humanely euthanized on August 13, 2017. The zoo’s professional Animal Care staff recently observed a change in Leo’s appetite, leading to a comprehensive veterinary medical exam on Thursday, August 10. During his annual physical on June 27, 2017, Leo showed no signs of illness and all his lab work came back normal. However on the August 10 exam, their Veterinary Staff discovered that he had significant liver disease. Leo immediately underwent an aggressive treatment regimen, however he did not respond to therapy and continued to rapidly decline. The difficult decision was then made to humanely euthanize Leo.
Leo was born on July 9, 2011, at the Oklahoma City Zoo. He arrived in Akron on March 3, 2015. The Akron Zoo is actively working with the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) and is expecting a placement recommendation soon, but until that time the tiger exhibit will remain closed. The zoo’s other male tiger, Sanjiv, was recently relocated to the Topeka Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Tiger SSP.
“Leo was a great cat and a wonderful ambassador for his species,” commented Eric Albers, Animal Curator. “He was very much like a typically finicky cat and would only do what Leo wanted to do and when Leo wanted to do it. However, the staff appreciated him and enjoyed having him in Akron to educate and inspire our community.”