AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Zoo on Friday announced the passing of Naom, a beloved female jaguar.

The zoo says Naom, who was 18 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with cancer in August. Zoo staff had discovered a cancerous mass growing on her abdomen, but surgery was not an option due to Naom's age and the size of the mass. 

Naom was euthanized due to complications from her cancer. The zoo says the median life expectancy for jaguars is 18.

“Naom was a longtime member of our Akron Zoo family and she will be dearly missed,” said Doug Piekarz, Akron Zoo president and CEO. “I want to express my heartfelt thanks to her professional care team for providing Naom with the best care possible throughout her life, especially over the past few months in her battle with cancer.”

Naom joined the zoo in May 2002 after she was born at the New Orleans Audubon Nature Institute in February 2001. Her daughter, Bella, remains at the Akron Zoo. 

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