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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s ‘Grandma Kaya’ mountain lion dies at 13

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has reported that Kaya, a 13-year-old mountain lion, passed away Sunday morning.

According to a release from the zoo Monday, Kaya underwent an emergency examination Saturday morning to try to identify a sudden change in her energy levels and disinterest in food. Veterinary staff couldn’t find a specific issue, so they treated her for potential dehydration to make her more comfortable.

Sunday morning, keepers found that she had passed overnight.

The big cat captured the hearts of guests and earned herself the nickname ‘Grandma Kaya’ after fostering three orphaned mountain lion kittens this summer.

Kaya herself found her way to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo after being orphaned in the wilds of Wyoming in 2006.

Kaya, who would have turned 14 in November and was blind with age-related arthritis and showed signs of early kidney disease, is believed to have died of natural causes and general age-related issues.

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