Goodbye to our dear caraval Zepo at The Wildcat Sanctuary
Our hearts are heavy as we had to say goodbye to Zepo, the caraval. At 15 years old, he was geriatric. Caracals normally live between 15-17 years in captivity and hybrids lives are even shorter. Even so, Zepo didn’t seem old to us. We have had cats live to be in their 20’s. Zepo had health issues over the years and so we were hoping this was another hurdle we could get him through. He had good and bad days. He was calm and patient during the bad ones, and playful and full of personality on the good ones.
Zepo was different, not just because he was a hybrid between a caracal and serval, but because he was so accepting. He accepted every cat he was ever introduced to, even if they didn’t. And in his 14 years at the Sanctuary, that was quite a few. He had special bonds with Bosco and most recently Rocky, both servals. He was calm and happy and accepted his life in captivity and lived each day to the fullest. Even during his recent medical issues, he was patient and accepted the treatments we provided to try and pull him through.
Zepo touched so many during his life. His rescue was featured in a local paper educating many people why exotic cats do not make good pets. His story of friendship with Bosco was featured in National Geo Graphic kids magazine educating future generations about tolerance. And over the 14 years of his life, he touched every caretaker, intern, volunteer and sponsor parent.
Even the last few months of his life, he was still making an impact on us. Due to his unique symptoms, specialists, sanctuary veterinarians and exotic veterinarians were involved in his case. Some checked in every day to see how he was doing and how he was responding. During the last month, our own veterinarian and caregivers spent so much time with him and we felt so connected. He was so patient and allowed each of us to do what was needed for him. It has been a devastating loss, but he told us it was time to let go. He accepted it and we had to honor that for him.
We know he is stronger now without his body to hold him back. He was part of our feline family for over a decade and it won’t be the same without him here.
Zepo, it was our honor and privilege to be your caregivers. You were truly special in so many ways. Enjoy your freedom and visit us often.