NORRISTOWN, PA — The Elmwood Park Zoo announced the passing of Cali (pronounced “kah-lee”), an 18-year-old female jaguar, on Wednesday. She had been receiving chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with lymphoma in the fall of 2013. Zoo staff witnessed a substantial decline in Cali’s condition and made the decision to euthanize her Wednesday morning.
The jaguar, named after the Hindu Goddess Kali and whose name means “the black one,” was unlike typical spotted jaguars. Cali’s unique black coat was caused by melanism, a common condition among felines that is caused by an excess of the black pigment, melanin.
Cali was born at the Marion Nature Park in Ocala, Fla. on Sept. 19, 1995. She arrived at the Elmwood Park Zoo on Jan. 1, 1996. Cali was paired with Anasazi, Elmwood Park Zoo’s 2-year-old spotted male jaguar.