Zenda, oldest African lion in the U.S., dies in Philadelphia Zoo

Facebook/Philadelphia Zoo

A 25-year-old African lion at the Philadelphia Zoo has been euthanized, the zoo announced on Friday.

Zenda, a female lion, had been in declining health, according to zoo officials. The animal was euthanized on Thursday.

Officials said Zenda was the oldest African lion in a United States zoo, and had lived at the Philadelphia Zoo since 1993, with a brief period spent at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

After the Columbus Zoo, Zenda was returned to Philadelphia in 2006, when the facility opened its Big Cat Falls exhibit.

The zoo’s Facebook page said the lion was born in the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa, in 1991. Zenda was brought to Philadelphia with three other lions.

“This remarkable cat will be missed by staff and guests alike, particularly by the keepers who catered to her changing needs as she grew old,” said Dr. Andy Baker, chief operating officer at Philadelphia Zoo.

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