Niabi Zoo euthanizes Nala, put to sleep on Monday, September 21.

The Niabi Zoo says Nala the lion has been euthanized after a long bout with bone cancer.

Nala was put to sleep on Monday, September 21.

“One of the zoo’s best-known residents, Nala, a 17-year-old female African Lion, was humanely euthanized on Monday due to her advanced Osteosarcoma (bone cancer).”

Zoo Director Lee Jackson says the decision wasn’t easy, but Nalas age and longterm welfare was the main factor.

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“This is never an easy decision, the Zoo’s keeper staff, veterinary team, and managers, in the end, had to consider her welfare and best quality of life. That she could reach such an advanced age is a testament to the level of care afforded to Nala and all the animals at the Niabi Zoo, and to the tireless dedication of our keeper, and veterinary staffs.”-Director Lee Jackson 

With modern medicine animals in zoos are living well past what can be expected by their wild counterparts. The zoo says older animals in zoos face the same challenges as elderly humans; dental, eye, and joint issues, digestive problems, and weakened immune function.

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Nala came to Niabi at the age of one and a half. She was a recognized favorite at the zoo for a generation of Niabi Zoo visitors. She was one of two female African Lions at the zoo. The second lion, 18-year-old “Savanna” can still be viewed by zoo visitors.

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