Saturday, January 10, 2009

So Long Simba...


Simba, African male lion, dies after declining health

Simba, a 19-year-old male African lion who made his home at the Buffalo Zoo, died Friday, Zoo officials confirmed.

“My heart goes out to the keeper staff who raised and cared for him for the past 19 years. He was a majestic animal with a sweet disposition,” said Zoo president Donna M. Fernandes.

Male lions rarely live past 16 in the wild but can survive longer in captivity.

Simba had been receiving medication for age-related osteoarthritis for more than a year. And as his health continued to deteriorate, Zoo officials made the decision to euthanize him.

Simba was born at the Buffalo Zoo on Sept. 8, 1989, to mother, Nasibu, and father, Mason. He had been housed with Isiolo, a 19-year-old female, for the past 18 years. One of his favorite pastimes was lying by the viewing window by the Reptile House and suddenly jumping up to surprise visitors, Zoo officials said.

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