Milwaukee County Zoo mourns loss of beloved male jaguar, Pat

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Milwaukee County Zoo's male jaguar, Pat

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Zoo is sad to announce the passing of its male jaguar, Pat. The zoo says the 19-year-old jaguar was humanely euthanized on Monday, August 7th due to kidney failure and quality of life concerns.

According to a news release from the zoo, Pat became a visitor favorite, as his unique backstory in the rainforests of Belize, Central America, touched so many. The rescue center in Belize accepted Pat after he became known to kill domestic livestock in the farming areas which encroach into jaguar habitats. The Belize Zoo rehabilitated Pat (and other wild jaguars that preyed on livestock), acclimated him to people and found an appropriate home for him at MCZ. He transferred here in March 2008.

Milwaukee County Zoo’s male jaguar, Pat

Because Pat was born in the wild, and is unrelated to any captive jaguars, he added much needed genetic diversity to the captive jaguar population in U.S. zoos.  Funding from generous donors allowed MCZ to modify Pat’s den and outdoor exhibit to safely accommodate his preference to perch in trees. During his time here, he sired four offspring.

Milwaukee County Zoo’s male jaguar, Pat

The news release goes on to say Pat was the subject of the 2011 book “Pat the Great Cat,” a project initiated by SHARP Literacy, in conjunction with children of Belize and children of Milwaukee. The book, featuring text in both English and Spanish, relays Pat’s remarkable story, the wild world of jaguars and the need to save this “last great cat of the Americas.”

Additional necropsy results will be forthcoming in the next few weeks to months.

“Pat served as an ambassador for his wild counterparts, and will be greatly missed by both visitors and staff,” the zoo said.