GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – An 18-year-old endangered snow leopard at John Ball Zoo has died after battling cancer for a year.
Mi-Shan, a “much-loved” member of the zoo family, was humanely euthanized after her soft tissue sarcoma took an aggressive turn last week and her quality of life deteriorated, according to the zoo.
Snow leopards normally live to be 14 or 15 years old. In 2016, Mi-Shan was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a number of surgeries and chemotherapy to combat it, the zoo said in a release.
Mi-Shan arrived at John Ball Zoo at the age of 3 in 2002 from the Sacramento Zoo. In 2003, she gave birth to Krashniya, who is now at the Sacramento Zoo, according to the zoo.
It’s estimated that there are fewer than 7,000 snow leopards in the wild, where they reside in the mountains of central Asia, the zoo said. John Ball Zoo is one of 70 institutions with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that works to preserve snow leopard life through the Species Survival Plan.