Pittsburgh Zoo African lion death — a beloved lion at the Pittsburgh Zoo has died causing great among fans. The death of the lion is reported as an epileptic seizure.
Zoo officials said the seizure caused Razi to fall in his exhibit and fracture his jaw. The lion had suffered from idiopathic epilepsy for more than six years.
The zoo’s veterinary and keeper staff determined it was not in Razi’s best interest to attempt the difficult surgery needed. Aftercare would be extremely difficult for the 500-pound lion, in addition to maintaining a good quality of life given his increased seizure rate.
“It is a sad day for all of us,” said zoo president and CEO Dr. Barbara Baker. “Our animals are like members of our family and losing a family member is tough. Razi was a magnificent animal, and will also be missed by our visitors who developed a bond with him and his brother Ajani.”
“Razi was an amazing cat,” Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, Director of Animal Health, said. “He allowed us to get voluntary blood samples from his tail every couple of months to check his medication serum levels and his liver function. It’s so hard for all of us at the zoo to lose an animal we have cared so deeply for but we try to remember all of the good memories and positive impact that he had on our zoo visitors.”
Ajani came to the zoo with his brother Razi in 2012 and they have been inseparable over the years. Keepers are keeping a close eye on Ajani during this transition time. African lions are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. In recent years, their populations have decreased by almost 40 percent due to loss of habitat, illegal wildlife trade, and human/lion conflict.
With only 20,000 left in the wild, their status is now classified as vulnerable.