Young mountain lion dies suddenly after being spayed at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– Cheyenne Mountain Zoo officials announced Monday that a female mountain died unexpectedly following post-surgical complications from being spayed.

Zoo officials said Sequoia had the routine surgery on January 9. A veterinarian believes the death may have been due to an allergy to her sutures. Zoo staff said they examined Sequoia’s sister, who had the same surgery, and she was healing well.

“Sequoia’s passing has shocked us,” said Bob Chastain, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo president and CEO. “Even after 25 years in the profession, this doesn’t get easier. It is a reminder that no medical procedure is simple or without risk. As humans in this day of advanced medicine where miracles are performed every day, this is a sobering reminder.”

Zoo officials said that the animal care team made the decision to spay Sequoia because unspayed large cats are more likely to experience health problems later in life.