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Phoenix Zoo cheetah dies from kidney disease

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Zoo's last cheetah died after battling kidney disease.

Zoo officials said the 9-year-old male cheetah named Juma died Thursday.

The Arizona Republic reported that zookeepers and veterinary staff learned more than a year ago that Juma had chronic renal disease.

His brother and littermate, Ratel, died Jan. 24. Pathology exams later determined the death was due to myocardial fibrosis and heart failure.

The two cheetahs had shared an outdoor area and developed a tight-knit relationship.

The cheetah exhibit is one of the Phoenix Zoo's most popular attractions. It will remain closed until further notice.

Zoo officials said they are looking to acquire another cheetah, but it can be a long process.

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