Pennsylvania zoo euthanizes one of country's oldest male lions
PITTSBURGH, March 22 (Reuters) -- A Pennsylvania zoo haseuthanized one of the five oldest male lions in the United
States due to age-related ailments, a zoo spokeswoman said onTuesday.
The 21-year-old African lion, Juma, arrived at the
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in 1990, when he was just a year
old, according to a statement on the zoo's website.
Juma had been confiscated from a private breeder in Ohio
after local farmers complained to the sheriff's office about
him escaping from his enclosure and eating poultry, the
During the past year, the lion had been suffering and
stopped eating a week before he was euthanized.
"He had a lot of age-related illnesses and also feline
dementia, which is not uncommon since he was very old," said
Tracy Gray, a zoo spokeswoman.
Dr. Stephanie James, the zoo's director of animal health,
said the animal "would sometimes forget where he was and look
around like he was lost."
Zoo keepers tried to encourage him to eat by giving him his
favorite food, ground turkey, but he consumed only a few ounces
of his usual seven pounds, she said.
Shiba, a female lion who was Juma's companion, spent hours
grooming and stayed close to him before he died, Kathy Suthard,
lead carnivore keeper, said in a statement.
(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Jerry Norton)
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