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Jaguar undergoes anesthesia to determine cause of appetite loss


A series of examinations uncovered cysts in the abdominal cavity

Reina undergoing examinations (Photo courtesy of Zoo Miami).

Reina undergoing examinations (Photo courtesy of Zoo Miami).

Zoo Miami recently reported that a 18-year-old, 105-pound female jaguar, Reina, has been experiencing lethargy and appetite loss. She was anesthetized and transferred from her habitat enclosure to the zoo’s animal hospital to undergo a series of examinations and identify the cause of her symptoms.

Fun facts about jaguars

According to the release, jaguars1:

  • Are the largest cat in the Americas and the third largest in the world, following tigers and lions.
  • Are found in tropical forests, from Mexico into South America, and have recently been spotted crossing the Mexican border into the Southwestern US.
  • Are often found in and around water (unlike most cats) where they will hunt various prey ranging from fish and caiman to deer and domestic livestock.
  • Have one of the most powerful jaws of all cats with the ability to bite through large skulls and turtle shells.
  • Have an average lifespan in the wild of 12-15 years.

Zoo Miami associate veterinarian, Marisa Bezjian, DVM, led the animal health team during the examinations. According to an organizational release,1 the procedures performed included a full set of radiographs, the collection of blood and urine, and an oral examination in addition to a tooth cleaning. She also received a thorough abdominal ultrasound examination conducted by consulting veterinary internist, Luis Macho, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM).

Though initial results did not display any critical issues, they did reveal persistence of several small cysts in the abdominal cavity. During prior exams, these cysts had been documented, though they are from unknown origin with the general belief being they may be related to hormones or advanced age.

Reina has been returned to her habitat enclosure where she has recovered well from the anesthesia. She will be further closely monitored.

Jaguars are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


Jaguar’s loss of appetite leads to immobilization for physical exam.News release. Zoo Miami. March 21, 2023. Accessed March 22, 2023. dhttps://www.zoomiami.org/media-news/posts/jaguars-loss-of-appetite-leads-to-immobilization-for-physical-exam

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