OAKLAND (AP) — The oldest lion at the Oakland Zoo has died.
The zoo announced Tuesday that Leonard, a 19-year-old African lion, was euthanized on Sunday. He suffered from severe and progressive arthritis and kidney disease.
It’s w/great sorrow we share that Leonard, our senior African lion of 19 yrs, was humanely euthanized on Sunday.
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.
📷: C Renshaw pic.twitter.com/2PmhjsUupW
— Oakland Zoo (@oakzoo) August 6, 2019
Leonard was a six-month-old cub when he and sister, Sandy, came to the zoo in 2000. They were rescued from a private home by Houston’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Sandy died in 2016 from cancer.
Leonard had no offspring but he was the eldest of four male lions at the zoo. The males never shared space for safety reasons but the zoo says Leonard would socialized with the younger lions through a fence by rubbing heads or “vocally scolding” them when they misbehaved.
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