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Cuma, Maryland Zoo lioness, dies

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore euthanizes lioness, 18-year-old Cuma

Cuma, a lioness who spent seven years at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, was euthanized Sunday night. She would have turned 19 in February.

“Cuma’s health had been in gradual decline from several age-related afflictions, but we had been able to keep her quite comfortable with multiple pain medications and joint supplements,” Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Zoo, said in a press release. "This weekend Cuma suddenly became lethargic, and staff noted an unusual lack of appetite. We spent most of Sunday assessing her health, but she declined rapidly [Sunday] night, which is when we decided it would be best to humanely euthanize her."

Cuma was born at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1996. Before coming to Baltimore in 2007, she spent 10 years at the Dallas Zoo.

“Cuma had a calm confidence that made her a great animal to have the pleasure to work with," Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager, said in the press release. "She was very regal when she sat in the sun on her hot rock in the exhibit."

Four lions remain at the zoo: 1-year-olds Luke, Leia and Zuri; and 7-year-old Hassan. 

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