Popular Lion Dies At Oklahoma City Zoo - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Popular Lion Dies At Oklahoma City Zoo

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Aslan the lion in an undated photo. Photo by Gillian Lang Aslan the lion in an undated photo. Photo by Gillian Lang

The zoo is mourning the death of 18-year-old African lion, Aslan, a favorite among zoo visitors. He died Friday.

Zookeepers say Aslan had been nauseated and not eating well before his annual exam in January. During the exam, veterinarians noticed his spleen was enlarged and performed a biopsy. They discovered the lion was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer that is resistant to treatment, especially in big cats.

"For a while his quality of life was still good. He was still eating and could move around his habitat and seemed to be fairly comfortable," said Jennifer D'Agostino, Director of Veterinary Services. "Once he became noticeably weak and could no longer stand up, we had to make the difficult decision to euthanize him."

Zoo officials say Aslan spent his last days enjoying the sunshine in Lion Overlook with his two mates, Bridget and Tia. Aslan first came to the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2007 from the Knoxville Zoo.

"Aslan was a wonderful cat," said Laura Bottaro, Curator of Mammals. "We are all very saddened by his passing and will remember him fondly."


People are encouraged to leave their memories and thoughts about Aslan on the zoo's Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/okczoobg.

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