COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo And Aquarium announced on Thursday Coby, the zoo’s cheetah ambassador dog, has passed away.
The zoo said their staff made the decision to humanely euthanize him on Dec. 30 due to his health significantly declining.
Coby had chronic arthritis of his neck and secondary spinal cord compression. His care was managed with treatment in conjunction with consultations from a veterinary orthopedic surgeon at The Ohio State University.
“Unfortunately, Coby’s neck lesions destabilized over the past couple of weeks, resulting in severe neurological signs,” the zoo said in a Facebook post. “After an MRI scan at OSU, the prognosis for corrective surgery was poor, and humane euthanasia was considered to be the action that would be in Coby’s best interest given that there was a low chance that he would ever be able to walk normally (and without pain) again.”
Coby was born on June 22, 2013 and arrived at the zoo as a puppy. He began his time helping raise cheetahs, Bibi and Zemba.
The zoo says Coby was also pivotal in mentoring companion dogs, Cash and Cullen, with whom he spent hours playing and dozing.
“Coby was a joy for our Animal Programs staff and everyone he came into contact with over the past 8 years,” the zoo wrote. “His playful and calm demeanor made him one of the best baby-raising helpers in Animal Programs, where he helped socialize otters, warthogs, foxes, and many others.”
The zoo adds Coby was phenomenal at connecting with guests, loved greeting visitors and meeting people through their community outreach program.
Coby was also the go-to canine companion for sitting with animals who recently underwent surgery he proved warmth to baby animals.
“Coby was a pillar of our Animal Programs department and a treasured member of our Zoo family. Though we are devastated, we are confident he has found a sunny spot across the rainbow bridge, napping happily and keeping an eye on his loved ones,” the zoo wrote.