National Zoo mourns Tumai, female cheetah

Photo: Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian's National Zoo

The National Zoo is mourning the loss of a history-making cheetah. Tumai died overnight Friday after a tumor caused her spleen to rupture. She was 13 years old, which is three years older than the average lifespan of a female cheetah living at a zoo.

Tumai will be remembered for giving birth to the zoo's very first litter of cheetah cubs in 2004. Those four cubs went on to live and take part in breeding programs at zoos around the United States.

The National Zoo says Tumai was treasured by staff and was loved by visitors of all ages.

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