It took Onyx quite some time to become comfortable. Onyx hid in her den when she first arrived and we gave her space and time to settle in while letting her know that we were there caring for her through everything. When we went to pick up Onyx we noticed her gait patterns were unlike that of a leopard her age. Her walking and jumping gait appeared unsteady and she was unable to walk a straight line, like she was drunk, which indicated to us that it was likely a neurological issue.
Not too long after she arrived, we decided to bring Onyx up to our vet clinic in order to monitor her health, especially her neurological symptoms. We ran diagnostic tests and tried different medications, but our veterinarian determined that her brain has been permanently altered due to a previously untreated illness. Time, care, and “special” attention in our vet clinic helped Onyx open up tremendously and she began to trust us. She is extremely sweet and loving and while she still walks funny, it became less severe once we began treating some symptoms that she has.
Onyx adores her playground and her high platforms out there, and she also loves food! Her cage has minor modifications to ensure that she doesn’t fall off the high ramps and platforms when she gets the leopard zoomies. She gets extremely excited around dinner time and definitely thinks that her feeders need to HURRY UP!
Onyx is also one of our resident artists. Her love for enrichment and her movements gave the enrichment team the idea of providing her with a canvas and paint. Using her paws , face, and tail, Onyx creates beautiful paintings. We informed her that we sell her paintings in the visitors’ center so we can buy her more chicken. She happily obliges. We adore this goofy, lovely girl and are glad that she is with us.