Oakland Zoo’s senior African lion, ‘Leonard,’ euthanized

Leonard, a 19-year-old African lion that lived at the Oakland Zoo, was euthanized on Sunday, the zoo announced through its Twitter account on Tuesday.

“It’s [with] great sorrow we share that Leonard, our senior African lion of 19 yrs, was humanely euthanized on Sunday,” reads a post that accompanies a photo of Leonard.

“Our hearts go out to our Animal Care staff who took tremendous care of this magnificent being, and to Leonard himself. Rest in peace, beautiful lion.”

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The East Bay Times reported on Tuesday evening that the lion suffered from progressive arthritis and kidney disease, and was transported to a local animal hospital on Sunday after zookeepers noticed he was lethargic.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Isabella Linares, spokeswoman for the zoo, told the East Bay Times. “We hope people can honor his life by supporting lion-conservation efforts to keep those animals in the wild, rather than trying to make them pets.”

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The zoo is hosting a lion appreciation day on Saturday, Aug. 10 in celebration of World Lion Day. At the event, visitors can hear a talk from the zoo’s lion keeper and get their face painted like a lion.

Drew Costley is an SFGATE editorial assistant. Email: drew.costley@sfgate.com | Twitter: @drewcostley

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/oakland-zoo-leonard-african-lion-dies-euthanized-14285689.php.

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