Cali, the jaguar at Elmwood Zoo, succumbs to lymphoma

Cali the jaguar at Elmwood Park Zoo was 18.

NORRISTOWN Unable to conquer lymphoma, a jaguar at the Elmwood Park Zoo died Wednesday morning, zoo officials said Thursday.

Cali, an 18-year-old female spotted jaguar, was diagnosed with the disease last fall and had been receiving chemotherapy.

"Zoo staff witnessed a substantial decline in Cali's condition and made the decision to euthanize her Wednesday morning," according to a zoo statement.

She was born at a Florida nature park in 1995 and became an Elmwood resident the following year. The zoo, on Harding Boulevard, is in the middle of a capital campaign that would finance projects including a new jaguar exhibit.

"It's always difficult when you lose any animal. They're a part of our family," said Al Zone, the zoo's executive director and CEO. "Cali's passing is especially difficult because she's been a fixture here for close to 20 years. She was a magnificent creature, and we will miss her deeply."

Last year, a 19-year-old male jaguar at the zoo died of complications from kidney failure, the zoo said. - Carolyn Davis