Jaguar at Evansville zoo diagnosed with terminal cancer

Photo credit: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A beloved jaguar at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville is diagnosed with cancer.

Beliza, a 13-year-old female jaguar, has been a favorite of guests since she arrived in February 2007.

Zoo officials say they introduced Beliza to Cuxtal, a 15-year-old male jaguar, with hopes she would become pregnant again. Beliza and Cuxtal became parents to two female cubs 10 years ago.

But when Beliza failed to conceive, a veterinarian found a large tumor in her uterus.

They removed the tumor, but they found other small tumors in her abdominal organs. A biopsy confirmed she has cancer throughout her abdomen.

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden says carcinomatosis doesn’t usually respond well to treatment.

Beliza will receive medication to slow cancer growth and if needed, treatments to keep her comfortable.

The staff says they are dedicated to making her remaining time the best it can be, and the zoo encourages guests to visit and send her positive thoughts.

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