UK’s last captive black leopard dies at Exmoor Zoo

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The last captive black leopard in the UK has died of natural causes at Exmoor Zoo in north Devon.

Zoysa, a rare melanistic leopard, died on his 18th birthday on 18 October after several weeks in palliative care.

He was born in 2004 and spent his early years at Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire.

Zoysa was the last captive black leopard in the UK and there are only five remaining in Europe, according to the zoo.

Arriving in Devon in 2009, the big cat quickly became one of the zoo’s most popular attractions.

Trustee Danny Reynolds remembered him as “quite a character” who made a “unique difference” to his surroundings.

“I personally will miss him and the shouts he caused from visitors as he deliberately surprised them as they visited his enclosure,” he said.

“Everyone used to come here to see him.”

Ebony, a female black leopard, died from natural causes at Exmoor Zoo in 2021.

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