- Associated Press - Thursday, January 14, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Hattiesburg Zoo officials say Sampson the jaguar has died.

In a news release, zoo officials say that the animal was humanely euthanized Wednesday afternoon following a decline in his qualify of life due to old age. Sampson was 19 years old.

Senior Zookeeper Katie Barry regularly trained and cared for the large feline. She says he was one of the zoo’s icons that the public loved and admired.

Sampson came to the zoo in 2001.

Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commissions, says they are deeply saddened by Sampson’s passing.

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