Blind panther dies unexpectedly at Florida zoo

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NAPLES, Fl. (WFTX) — The Naples Zoo sadly announced Monday that their blind Florida panther Uno passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, two days after having surgery.

Uno arrived at Naples Zoo in 2015 to become an ambassador for the species after he was injured by a shotgun blast that destroyed one eye and blinded the other.

Veterinary staff at the zoo recently decided to have Uno undergo surgery due to an ulcer in his remaining eye. During his recovery, he had a reaction to a commonly prescribed pain medication, but zoo officials say that issue appeared to resolve.

He was regularly monitored and was recovering well until two days later when he suddenly stopped breathing. CPR and other medical treatments were unable to revive him.

A necropsy will be performed by the University of Florida. Zoo officials say it is unknown if a decisive cause of death will be determined.

“He was a beloved panther and dear friend to our staff and volunteers, members and community,” said Jack Mulvena, President and CEO of Naples Zoo. “We share the heartbreak of this event with the animal care professionals who knew him best and with our veterinary team, as well as our admiration for their outstanding commitment to Uno and to all the animals in our care.”

The zoo still has one female Florida panther and will continue to work with FWC and United States Fish and Wildlife Service to rescue and rehabilitate Florida panthers.

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