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