DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Zoo is home to many exotic and endangered species, but did you know one of the zoo’s residents was smuggled through Denver International Airport?
She’s a 4-year-old Geoffroy’s cat, and her name is Dia. While she looks similar to domestic cats, the zoo said she is a wild cat native to South America and should not be considered a pet.
In 2022, the Denver Zoo said she was illegally transported on a commercial flight and was confiscated at DIA by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
She stayed at CPW’s wildlife rehabilitation facility for a while, and eventually, CPW asked the Denver Zoo for help housing her as the investigation had gone on for months.
The zoo said their animal health and care teams did not hesitate to make sure Dia had everything she needed at the zoo, including expert care, an appropriate diet and a safe home. They even gave her the name Dia.
She lived there and stayed behind the scenes until the investigation was closed, and that’s when she became a permanent resident.
Dia is still living behind the scenes in the zoo’s Felines Building. The zoo said she will stay inside until the tree kangaroos move to a new habitat that is opening later this year.