National Zoo mourning death of female cheetah

Tumai, a female cheetah at the National Zoo, died this week. (Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian\'s National Zoo)

WASHINGTON – The National Zoo is mourning the loss of its female cheetah, Tumai, who died this week.

A preliminary necropsy showed a tumor caused her spleen to rupture. Zoo officials are still conducting a final pathology report.

Tumai was 13-years-old. Female cheetahs typically live to 10 years in human care.

Well-known for giving birth to the Zoo’s first litter of cheetah cubs in November 2004, Tumai came from the Pheonix Zoo in early 2004.

The Zoo still has three adult male cheetahs and two sub-adult cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Station.

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