The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is saddened to announce that 19-year-old male bobcat, Cody, was euthanized Sunday, January 3, 2021.
According to caretakers, Cody was alert Sunday morning and his behavior and routine were normal. He received his morning diet then went outside to explore his Oklahoma Trails habitat. Later that afternoon, Zoo guests alerted caretakers that Cody had started seizing. Caretakers immediately contacted the veterinary care team, which rushed to the habitat to discover Cody was suffering a grand mal seizure. The Zoo’s veterinary care team administered an exam and anti-seizure medication but, unfortunately, Cody was unresponsive to the medication and the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him.
The Zoo’s veterinary team conducted a necropsy (animal autopsy) after Cody was euthanized and determined he was in end-stage kidney failure, which likely caused the seizure. During Cody’s last routine wellness exam, the veterinary care team assessed he was in good health and put him on preventive medication for kidney disease, which is common in both domestic and wild felids. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the median life expectancy for a bobcat is 18.3 years.
Cody arrived at the Zoo in 2004 and was one of the first animals to reside at Oklahoma Trails, the Zoo’s 8-acre habitat that showcases Oklahoma’s native wildlife including mountain lions, white-tailed deer, elk, black bears, road runners and other species, and opened to the public in 2007.
Bobcats range from southern Canada, through the United States and into parts of Mexico. They are also found in many types of habitats in Oklahoma. The bobcat’s fur is buff to brown and marked with brown and black spots or stripes. They get their notable name from their short, “bobbed” tail. Bobcats are solitary animals who prefer to live alone. They are also are excellent climbers and incredible hunters with the ability to leap up to 10 feet into the air to grab birds!
The Zoo is also home to Dodger, a two-year-old male bobcat, who resides at Cat Forest.
Photo credits: Mandi Townzen and Thane Johnson