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Cheetah cub and lion die at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Date Published: 04 Jul, 2012
Cheetah cub and lion die at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage

The three orphaned cheetah cubs that were moved from the Mara Conservancy to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage

One of the three cheetah cubs rescued from the Maasai Mara and the old lion ‘Matope’, have died at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage this past week.

According to the Dr. Edward Kariuki, the Nairobi Animal Orphanage veterinary doctor, the ‘Mara cheetah cub’ died of Feline panleukopenia infections.

A post-mortem examination report revealed a mottled liver appearance while some areas of the intestines were haemorrhagic. The disease affects cats of six months and below. The cub was six months old at the time of death on Sunday (July 1, 2012).

A post mortem examination carried out on the lion ‘Matope’ revealed enlarged liver, kidneys and gall bladder. According to Dr. Kariuki, enlargement of these organs pointed to an effort by the organs to increase their functions.  The functional problems of the liver may have caused ‘Matope’ death on Tuesday (June 26, 2012).

Samples taken from the cats will be delivered to the laboratories for confirmatory diagnosis.

The three ‘Mara Cheetah cubs’ were brought to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage from the Mara Triangle on May 12, 2012. They were about four months old then. The cubs were put on quarantined area for mandatory 60 days and had been in the enclosure for 47 days. The quarantine period was meant to provide intensive observation and investigation for any health threatening infections.  According to Dr. Kariuki, the cub had been active and had not displayed any sign of disease on the eve on its death. It also demonstrated a generally good body condition.

Due to the infectious nature of the disease, the two remaining cubs were moved to another enclosure where they will be placed under a week of antibiotic therapy and vaccinations.

‘Matope’ had been recently brought back to the Orphanage in January 2012 from Hopecraft Ranch. While at the ranch, ‘Matope’ suffered paralysis due to an earlier infection of Canine Distemper.

‘Matope’ was a mature lion adult, generally in poor body condition, and partially blind in the right eye.

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