By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Zoo news: Animal physicals continue at Brit Spaugh Zoo
zoo slt leopard MAIN-pic-dentist
Dr. Mike Allison cleans the teeth of "Toby," the male spotted leopard at Great Bends Brit Spaugh Zoo. Toby underwent his annual physical on Tuesday. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

About spotted leopards


Spotted leopards are found in Africa. Brit Spaugh Zoo Director Scott Gregory said they are sometimes confused with jaguars, which come from South America. "The jaguar has little spots inside their spots," he said.

In the wild, the leopard would only have a life expectancy of about 10 years, but in captivity it could live up to 25 years.





Toby, the 5-year-old spotted leopard at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo, had his annual physical Wednesday, and a visit from local dentist and mayor Dr. Mike Allison.

The leopard weighed in at 100 pounds, or five pounds less than a year ago. Zoo Curator Marge Bowen and Dr. Jackie Corbett, DVM, agreed the weight loss was not a cause for concern.

Dr. Mike Malone, the head veterinarian to the zoo, used a 48-inch blow gun to tranquilize the big cat. He said delivering the injection in that manor is less stressful for the animal than using a firearm. It took about 10 minutes for the leopard to go under.

Then Toby was transferred to the procedure room in the Kansas Raptor Center. A large window allows the public to watch animals being examined. The veterinarians performed the physical, while Dr. Allison handled the dental work. Bowen said he would clean and polish the teeth. "The same things they do on people teeth, we do on animal teeth."

Necropsy report

Zoo Director Scott Gregory also shared the results of a necropsy performed last month after the death of a 14-year-old female lion. Staff had observed she was lethargic and slow moving for a few days. When they performed a physical, she was found to be markedly anemic and died soon after.

The necropsy report, finalized Tuesday by the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Manhattan, gave a diagnosis that included lipid pneumonia. Veterinarians also suspected splenic lymphoma.