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Farewell to Kaloa the Jaguar

Kaloa the jaguar walks gracefully across some rocks near a pool.
Photo by Jamie Pham.

In early February, we said goodbye to Kaloa the jaguar. At an amazing 22 ½ years old, Kaloa was a long-time resident of the Los Angeles Zoo and one of the oldest living jaguars. He arrived at the L.A. Zoo in 2005 and moved to the new Rainforest of the America’s area when the keystone jaguar habitat was opened in 2015, a moment that Kaloa’s long-time keeper cherished. “Several of us shed tears of joy the first day he ran through his new home,” Principal Keeper Dani Cremona remembers.

Animal Care and Veterinary staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Kaloa after caring for him through his declining health and diagnosing him with issues related to advanced age. As a species, a jaguar’s life expectancy is 12-16 years. Kaloa’s longevity is a testament to the superb quality of care he received from veterinarians and keepers, all of whom were deeply saddened when it was determined his quality of life and medical conditions were irreversible.

The Los Angeles Zoo offers special thanks and condolences to Kaloa’s entire care team and to the veterinary team for doing everything to keep him healthy and thriving throughout his long life. Many thanks to our members, as well, who cherished Kaloa as much as we did during his time with us.

Kaloa the jaguar stalks through the grass toward the camera in close up.
Keepers remember Kaloa as a smart animal who was easy to care for. Photo by Jamie Pham.
Kaloa the jaguar stretches toward a colorful pink box set high on a rock, exposing his smooth, white belly.
Kaloa at age 18. Photo by Tad Motoyama.
Kaloa the jaguar licks his chops and stares into the distance.
One keeper remarked that Kaloa loved goat’s milk and chicken. Photo by Jamie Pham.
Kaloa's keepers say he was unique in that he didn't enjoy the water the same way many jaguars do.
Kaloa’s keepers say he was unique in that he didn’t enjoy the water the same way many jaguars do. Photo by Tad Motoyama.
Kaloa the jaguar lies on his side and licks his feet, his mottled paw pads perched on a rock.
Kaloa’s most recent keeper had been caring for him for the past five years and called the time a complete privilege. Photo by Jamie Pham.
A resting Kaloa the jaguar rests his chin on a rounded rock in the grass, his pale eyes half closed.
We’ll miss you, Kaloa. Photo by Jamie Pham.