A 3-year-old lion at the Denver Zoo has died after he began having severe seizures last month, CBS Denver reported.
The zoo said animal care and veterinary staff did everything they could to help the lion, named Sango, but his condition continued to worsen.
After treatment did not resolve his liver problems or seizures, the zoo determined that Sango had lost his quality of life. He could not walk or even position himself to drink water.
The zoo said he was humanely euthanized on April 30.
“This is devastating for us. Our time with Sango was way too short. His condition worsened so quickly and so severely that euthanasia was our only option,” said Denver Zoo Staff Veterinarian Betsy Stringer.
Sango came to the Denver Zoo in June 2013 after he was hand-reared by zookeepers at Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas.
He fathered male and female cubs Kalu and Kamara in September 2016 with 3-year-old Neliah. Zookeepers said he was very playful, but timid. When the cubs were born they seemed to give him confidence.
The zoo said a scope showed that Sango’s liver was highly abnormal and his gall bladder was enlarged. A full animal autopsy will be conducted by veterinarians at Colorado State University.
The median life span for lions in zoos is 16.8 years, according to the Denver Zoo.
In addition to Neliah and her cubs, Denver Zoo is currently home to one other adult lion, 3-year-old female Sabi