Lioness dies in fall at zoo just two weeks after mate is euthanized

Chicago Zoological Society(CHICAGO) -- The Chicago Zoological Society has had to euthanize its female African lion at the Brookfield Zoo after she suffered injuries from an accidental fall just two weeks after euthanizing its male African lion due to age related complications.

Officials at the Brookfield Zoo, also known as the Chicago Zoological Park, announced the death of Isis on Tuesday in a press release.

Officials say that the 14-year-old lioness was fine when staff checked on her habitat at around 9 a.m. Tuesday. But when she was revisited a short time later, she was observed laying on the floor of the moat 15 feet below.

Brookfield Zoo officials say that the fall was not witnessed but that it appears she fell off the side of the enclosure and was injured in the fall.

Veterinary staff immediately provided intensive treatment but Isis’ injuries were significant and the decision was made to humanely euthanize her a short time later.

“The safety and well-being of the animals in our care is our utmost priority,” said Senior Vice President of Animal Programs Bill Zeigler in a statement. “Although it is unclear what caused her fall, we are reviewing all aspects of this tragic occurrence.”

Isis’ accident comes less than two weeks after her male partner named Zenda died on Jan. 2 due to complications of old age.
 
Zenda, who was also 14 years old at the time of his death, had been observed having trouble standing and walking at the end of last year. Veterinarians had been in the process of treating his symptoms with medication but the decision was made to euthanize him on Jan. 2.

Zenda was considered geriatric and had been losing his mane in his later years. Preliminary necropsy results indicated that Zenda had several degenerative discs in his spine that had ruptured due to his age, and were inoperable.

Both Isis and Zenda arrived to the Brookfield Zoo in 2008 and officials say the lions were very close and could often be seen grooming each other and sleeping together with their paws on each other.

“Isis and her mate were majestic animals who had a strong bond," said Zeigler. "The staff, who dedicated their lives to care for these charismatic lions, are heartbroken by their loss.”

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