LA Zoo’s 23-Year-Old Lion Dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Zoo says its male lion has died.

Lionel was 23, which is considered old for a lion.

Zoo officials said Tuesday that Lionel had been under close veterinary care for the past several months for neurological issues and urinary incontinence. Zoo staff decided to euthanize him on Saturday after determining that his condition had worsened, affecting his quality of life.

A female lion named Cookie remains at the zoo. She is 22 years old.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Ace

    Bye Bye Lionel.

  • thersa

    his quality of life suffered daily as visitors to the zoo would often taunt him and throw things at him to get him to ‘do something’ for their photographs.poor lionel.

  • AJ Morgan

    Bye Lionel!! I still have pics of you!!!

  • drozone69

    Smog,unatural habitad and steroid and hormonic pumped beef aged him prematurely.Mankind is also suffering from thes effects.

    • Bob

      The average life span of a lion in the wild is 15 years… The only thing the “smog” and such did was give him an extra 7 years…

  • katheryn

    no wonder i didnt see him on sunday!.. sad..

  • frank

    @drozone69 “aged him prematurely????” Give me a break! 80% of wild cubs die before age 2 Adults live an average of 12-18 years. For a lion 23 YEARS is a extremely good life span and run.

  • Megan

    I worked with those lions, they dont even feed them beef. get your facts straight before you make ignorant, rude comments. the care of those lions is amazing, which is reflected in their age. he did not age prematurely, large cats only have a life expectancy of around 20 max in captivity.

    RIP lionel, you’ll always be loved. my sympathy goes out to all of the amazing keepers that cared for him for so many years!

  • Corinne Anderson

    Horrible. Poor angel.

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