Nikita, a 21-year-old jaguar at the Reid Park Zoo, is on the mend following a blood transfusion from another jaguar after a veterinarian discovered that her red-blood-cell count was dangerously low.

“She’s doing remarkably well” after receiving a transfusion from a jaguar at the Bearizona Wildlife Park in Williams, said Alexis Moreno, a veterinarian at the zoo.

“The zoo’s keepers had notified me that she was becoming progressively lethargic,” Moreno said of Nikita.

“I did a full workup and found that her red-blood-cell count was dangerously low. That’s why she was so weak.”

After providing an initial transfusion using blood from house cats, Moreno began contacting zoos around the country that hold jaguars.

She found that a jaguar named Bagheera at Bearizona could supply additional needed blood for Nikita.

“I traveled to Northern Arizona and was able to attain a full amount of blood from Bagheera,” Moreno said. “We gave it to Nikita” last week.

“We’re hoping the medications I’m giving her will prevent her having to have another transfusion.”

A statement issued by Bearizona said that “Bearizona’s male jaguar Bagheera is one of the most beloved critters to call Bearizona home and now he can add ‘life saver’ to his list.”

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz