Jacksonville Zoo jaguar euthanized due to declining health

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Tuesday said it made the difficult decision to euthanize one of its jaguars, which was in declining health.

According to the zoo, 20-year-old Onca was believed to have been suffering from kidney failure and cancer. The zoo is awaiting test results to confirm that.

Onca first arrived at the zoo with her late sister, Salsa, from the Baton Rouge Zoo.

“Onca was the most affectionate jaguar, and her keepers always enjoyed walking into the building with her rubbing her face on the mesh towards them,” the zoo posted on Instagram.

According to the zoo, Onca was a favorite among guests and staff alike.

The zoo partners with Rupununi Wildlife Research Unit, which helps create solutions that mitigate human-to-jaguar conflict. Jaguars face threats throughout the Americas, including human retaliation.