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Tulsa Zoo Mourns Jaguar Bebeto

The Tulsa Zoo is saddened to report the passing of our adult male jaguar Bebeto. After closely monitoring age related health and mobility declines that quickly advanced to compromise his quality of life, our animal care and health teams made the decision on Tuesday to humanely euthanize Bebeto. Bebeto passed away in his exhibit holding area surrounded by his caregivers.

Bebeto is estimated to be more than 20 years old, making him among the older jaguars in human care.  The median life expectancy of a jaguar in human care is 16.8 years. Bebeto was able to well-surpass that through the excellent care he received. He came to the Tulsa Zoo on April 26, 2007, from Fort Worth Zoo.

Bebeto and female jaguar Ixchel produced three cubs that are now at other Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions as part of the Jaguar Species Survival Plan. The zoo will work with the Jaguar SSP in the coming days to plan for continued involvement to sustain this threatened species.