The Assiniboine Park & Zoo is mourning the loss of a spotted cat that had called the zoo home for over a dozen years.

The zoo says in an online post that Bragin the ocelot was euthanized earlier this week "after his health took a turn for the worse."

The cat was almost 24 years old and according to the zoo "lived more than double the average 10-year lifespan of wild ocelots."

"As many of you know, this beautiful boy was one of the beloved senior citizens we care for here at the Zoo and, while we knew his time was coming, it is still incredibly hard to say goodbye," the post says.

Bragin arrived at the Zoo in July 2011, shortly after the opening of Toucan Ridge. "While it is not unusual for animals in human care to live longer, Bragin’s remarkable longevity was certainly a testament to the quality of his daily care and treatment for age-related issues including a recently diagnosed heart condition," the statement says.

Ocelots are native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Margarita. 

"Bragin was very popular among visitors and absolutely loved by the Zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams. He could be a bit grumpy and sassy, but that just made him more special. His favourite foods were rabbit and fish and he loved new smells (spices and perfumes) for enrichment – his favourites were cinnamon and mint. Like a typical cat, he was a bit particular about people – there were some he really liked, while others were simply tolerated. He slept a lot during the day but loved to spend time exploring his outdoor habitat at night. He loved boxes of any shape and size.

"Bragin was a very special boy. He was loved and will be missed tremendously by those who had the privilege of caring for him along with our visitors, volunteers, and members."

The zoo invites the public to share memories and photos of Bragin on its social media pages.