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2 big cats die of distemper at Texas sanctuary


WYLIE, Texas (AP) — A North Texas animal sanctuary has reported an outbreak of canine distemper that’s killed a 12-year-old tiger named Apollo and a lioness called Layla.

Officials with In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie say about 20 other big cats have shown symptoms. Details on the group’s website indicate the ailments range from runny noses to seizures.

Wildlife officials are working with veterinarians to deal with the outbreak. A spokeswoman for the center on Monday didn’t immediately update conditions of the sick animals.

Center authorities say the cats get annual vacations for feline distemper but the animals are also susceptible to a canine branch of the disease. Experts believe the canine distemper was transmitted by wild raccoons.

Wylie is 20 miles northeast of Dallas.


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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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