Some of my favorite memories of early motherhood are from my trips to Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo with my daughter. There was always something incredibly magical about seeing her light up whenever she would see the animals there.

Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden via Facebook

Big Cats Were Always a Favorite

Some of our personal favorites when we would visit Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden were the big cats. We would stand outside the big cat enclosures longer than any of the others just staring in awe of the magnificent creatures.

Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden via Facebook

From Ohio to Indiana

In 2005 Mesker Park Zoo welcomed a young clouded leopard named Miri. She had traveled to Evansville from the Columbus Zoo and has lived out her life in Evansville ever since.

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Sad News from Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden

Today, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden shared some sad news. They say that Miri's health had declined, particularly the health of her kidneys resulting in pain and a significant decrease in Miri's quality of life. Unfortunately, a very tough and I'm sure emotional decision had to be made.

Saying Goodbye to Miri

In a statement on Facebook, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden shared,

Broken hearts and fond memories are shared among staff here at the zoo as we announce the passing of our Clouded Leopard, Miri. The 18-year-old cat has long been a fan-favorite of many who visit the Discovery Center at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. After a medical exam a quality-of-life discussion was held by our veterinarian and senior management where it was determined that Miri, an elderly clouded leopard, was suffering from renal failure resulting in pain and discomfort. Ultimately, the difficult decision for humane euthanasia was made. The median life expectancy for a clouded leopard is 13.1 years. Miri was one of the oldest clouded leopards in managed populations.


So Few Clouded Leopards Remain in the World

Not only was Miri one of the oldest clouded leopards in captivity, but she was one of very few remaining clouded leopards in the world. Mesker Park Zoo says that there are only about 10,000 of these animals left in the wild and that number continues to decrease as their natural habitat dwindles due to human "progress" and illegal hunting by poachers.

We are quite sure that Miri will be missed terribly by all who have come to know and love her.

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