Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obit: Kitabu, the "Lion of Reid Park Zoo," Passes

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

kitabu.JPG

Kitabu, a lion at Reid Park Zoo, has died. The press release:

The Reid Park Zoo announces that “Kitabu” an elderly male African Lion,
died overnight. A necropsy (postmortem examination) is being performed
today. Preliminary results will be available tomorrow and final
examination reports are expected in several weeks. There was a
noticeable decline in Kitabu's health over the past two days. Animal
care staff and the Zoo veterinarian were attempting non-evasive medical
treatments before moving on to a detailed exam with anesthesia. He
suffered a stroke in February and has been on medication and undergoing
physical therapy since that time. Kitabu was born at Reid Park Zoo and
was 18 when he died.

“Like all animals at Reid Park Zoo, Kitabu received quality
whole-life care until the day he died. Although his death deeply saddens
the staff, his death was not

surprising. We are thankful the end was
trauma free,” states Jim Schnoremier, the Zoo General Curator. “I am
extremely proud of the staff members who helped him through a difficult
medical issue earlier this year and provided him with several additional
months of a high quality life.” The average life expectancy of a lion
is 15 years in the wild, while lions in zoos can expect to live into
their late teens.

A young female, Kaya, will remain on exhibit daily. The Zoo will work
with colleague institutions through the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) to make recommendations regarding the acquisition of
additional lions, if appropriate. The Zoo will keep guests informed on
its web site. During this challenging time, keepers welcome guests’
thoughts, memories, and photos of Kitabu on its Facebook page.

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