Reid Park Zoo euthanizes 11-year-old lion with kidney disease

Reid Park Zoo euthanizes 11-year-old lion with kidney disease
Shombay, above, relaxes in his enclosure at Reid Park Zoo. The 11-year-old lion was euthanized by park veterinarians on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 for a degenerative disease he had been diagnosed with in 2016. (Source: Karen McCrorey)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Officials with the Reid Park Zoo say a lion was euthanized Wednesday, June 24, following a years-long battle with polycystic kidney disease. The lion, named Shombay, was 11 years old.

The announcement came in a blog post on the zoo’s officials website, where, staff said, the lion had been diagnosed with the degenerative kidney disease in 2016. Since there is no cure for the disease, the post stated, zookeepers and park veterinarians had given him regular treatment.

However, despite their efforts, Shombay’s condition could only worsen with time.

Blood tests showed the lion’s disease was not improving and, along with other factors, zoo staff decided to humanely euthanize him Wednesday morning.

Known for his mohawk mane as a young lion, Shombay came to the Reid Park Zoo in 2010 at 2 years old, the post stated. During his time at the zoo, he became a companion to a female lion, Kaya.

He is survived by several litters of cubs who have joined other zoo prides across the country, one of whom — his 6-year-old daughter Nayo — lives with Kaya at Reid Park.

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