Pneumonia Claims Life of Dallas Zoo's Cheetah Cub Kamau

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014  |  Updated 11:41 AM CDT
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Pneumonia Claims Life of Dallas Zoo's Cheetah Cub Kamau

Dallas Zoo

Kamau

The Dallas Zoo says a 6-month-old cheetah cub died of pneumonia Tuesday afternoon.

The cub, Kamau and his brother, Winspear, both became sick about a week ago. The two cubs were treated by the zoo's hospital veterinary staff. Winspear is still recovering, but Kamau's health quickly worsened Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, these types of illnesses can worsen very quickly in both animals and people," said Lynn Kramer, DVM, vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo.

A necropsy showed evidence of pneumonia.

Both cubs were vaccinated against both canine and feline distemper and other respiratory illnesses, according to the Dallas Zoo.

The cubs had a black Labrador companion puppy named Amani. Amani shows no sign of illness.

“The cubs had a very close bond,” Kramer said. “Kamau loved to play, and he was particularly fond of pouncing on top of his brother. The interaction between the cubs and Amani has fascinated guests and our staff since they arrived here last summer, and all three are beloved members of our family.”

The two cubs were born on July 8 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Fort Royal, Va. This YouTube video shows the cubs playing not long after they were born.

Officials say other cats at the zoo are healthy.

The Dallas Zoo is encouraging guests to post photos of the cubs or leave messages of support for its staff on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

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