Overweight leopard compared to Disney character ‘too old to diet’

  • last month
An overweight leopard that looked like Disney's Zootopia character had to stop its weight-loss plan due to old age.The 16-year-old big cat, fondly called ‘Officer Clawhauser' by visitors because of its resemblance, had reduced its meal portions by half, but officials at the Panzhihua Zoo in Sichuan, China, said there has been no noticeable drop in its weight.Footage shows ‘China's Officer Clawhauser' sitting in the corner of its enclosure behind the glass. Other animals at the zoo were also taking naps most of the day inside their 20ft by 20ft cages.The leopard's head was not proportional to its body, and its neck was fatter than most of its kind, which looked like the famed Disney animated film character.Sun Quanhui, a senior scientific adviser at World Animal Protection, said 'the very least they could do was make sure that the leopard had to work to find the food, putting it in difficult-to-reach places.'The leopard was given a larger enclosure to help it move around with smaller meals than before, but it remained overweight. Zoo officials said the reduced meals had stressed the big cat out, so they had to stop it, although 'it had no health issues.'Leopards can live up to 17 years in the wild and 23 years in captivity.A zoo spokesman added that 'as long as the leopard was happy, that was the important thing.'Animal obesity is a growing concern in many zoos across China, primarily due to issues related to space constraints and improper feeding practices.Those located in densely populated urban areas have limited enclosure space. This lack of adequate space restricts the animals' ability to move freely and engage in natural behaviours, leading to a sedentary lifestyle and increased risk of obesity.

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