National Zoo euthanizes 8-year-old cheetah

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian's National Zoo has euthanized an 8-year-old male cheetah.

One of three new male cheetahs reacts to his new environs after being introduced at the National Zoo in Washington, Thursday May 31, 2007. The two year-olds, Draco, Granger and Zabini, named after character in the Harry Potter books, was transferred from the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Fla. to bolster the zoo's cheetah breeding program. AP FIle Photo.

Zoo officials say Draco, who arrived at the zoo in 2007 from White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Fla., was put down Wednesday.

Draco had not been eating well. Last month, veterinarians found a constricted, ulcerated area in his gastrointestinal tract.

The Washington Post reports that Draco had been on exhibit with his brothers, Granger and Zabini.

Zoo officials say male cheetahs usually live about 10 years in captivity.

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