|June 1, 2011 -
Knoxville Zoo is saddened to announce
the death of Emmett, the zoo's last remaining cheetah.
Emmett died on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. At 16 years old, he
was one of the oldest cheetahs in the United States.
Knoxville Zoo staff and veterinarians from the University of
Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) had
been monitoring the geriatric cheetah closely over the last few
months as he began exhibiting symptoms of his advanced
years. In the last few weeks, his health began deteriorating
steadily, and the decision was made to humanely euthanize
him. Emmett passed peacefully with his keepers by his side.
Born at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas,
in 1994, Emmett came to Knoxville in 1995 along with his
mother, Cami, and two sisters, Kelley and Kalera. A favorite of zoo visitors for more than 15 years, Emmett delighted
guests with his speed and agility during the popular "Cheetah Chase" in his younger years, pursuing a flag on a
motorized line around his exhibit. Emmett had the distinction of being one of the oldest cheetahs in the country at 16
years of age; the average life expectancy in captivity is 12-13 years and 7 years in the wild for cheetahs.
"Emmett came to the zoo with his mother and two sisters when he was just a cub," says Lisa New, director of animal
collections. "He lived a full life with them here. With his passing, a great cheetah family ends its time at Knoxville
Zoo. He will be missed."
Expressions of sympathy for Emmett's keepers and his other caregivers may be sent to Attn: Thoughts for
Emmett, Knoxville Zoo, P.O. Box 6040, Knoxville, TN 37914, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the
zoo's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/knoxvillezoo.
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392A from Interstate 40, the zoo is
open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation,
and education. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and from 9:30
a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Nextday
admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit www.knoxvillezoo.org.