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Animal autopsy: Milwaukee Co. Zoo’s snow leopard born with condition that led to death

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MILWAUKEE — We now know what caused the unexpected death of a male snow leopard at the Milwaukee County Zoo on June 5th — just four days after its first birthday.

The final animal autopsy was released on Thursday, July 2nd. The findings reveal the snow leopard, named Sossy, had excessive accumulation of fluid on the brain. The fluid is cerebrospinal fluid – a clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. It is likely he was born with this neurological condition.

It is suspected Sossy may have had a seizure caused by the condition — which would have compromised his ability to navigate his exhibit. Veterinary personnel believe drowning was a secondary cause of death.

Sossy showed no signs of illness prior to his death.

Sossy was born to mother, Tomiris, and father, Genghis, June 1, 2014.

Milwaukee County Zoo