Denver Zoo cheetah Marvin dies at age 8

DENVER — Regular visitors to the Denver Zoo might notice a change in the cheetah enclosure during their next trip.

Marvin, an 8-year-old cheetah, died Wednesday night, according to the zoo.

Zoo staff have been treating Marvin and his brother Mojo for a number of health complications over the years, including “a slowly progressive neurological disorder,” the zoo said in a Facebook Post on Thursday.

Both cheetahs were also recently suffering from an upper respiratory infection that required them to stay indoors.

“They regained much of their strength and appetite and were able to enjoy the past two weeks outside; however, Marvin took a turn for the worse yesterday when he became acutely weak. An emergency exam revealed his quality of life was in sharp decline and his prognosis was very poor, so we made the very difficult decision to euthanize him humanely,” the zoo said in its post.

Mojo is still on exhibit at the zoo. While his health complications are similar to Marvin’s, they are less advanced.

Cheetahs rarely live as long as eight years in the wild and 10 to 12 years under human care, according to the zoo.

“Marvin will be sorely missed by Mojo, the staff and volunteers at Denver Zoo, and the countless visitors who have been enthralled by his magnificence. We encourage guests to visit the Zoo to sign or write a note to his keeper on a card posted by the cheetah yard,” the zoo said.

Marvin arrived in Denver from a wildlife conservation center in Ohio in 2012.