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The Birmingham Zoo’s African lion, Kwanza, dies

(Scott K., Lead Animal Care Professional in Predators)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:26 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Zoo’s 16-year-old male African lion, Kwanza, has died.

The Zoo’s Veterinary and Animal Care staff had been closely monitoring and medically treating him for age-related health issues including kidney disease and lymphoma.

Kwanza initially responded to medical treatment but then his appetite decreased and the difficult decision was made to euthanize him.

“Kwanza was a longtime beloved member of our animal family and always received the best care and attention from our Animal Care and Veterinary teams,” says Birmingham Zoo President & CEO, Chris Pfefferkorn. “His passing is a devastating loss for not only our staff and volunteers but also for our guests and members who loved him. Kwanza will always hold a special place in our hearts and he will be deeply missed.”

About Kwanza (from The Birmingham Zoo): Kwanza was born on December 24, 2004, at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas. He came to the Birmingham Zoo in February 2006 and resided in the Trails of Africa area of the Zoo. He was loved by staff, volunteers, members, and guests. Over the years, he mastered participating in husbandry training while readily learning new behaviors that greatly assisted with his care. In 2011, Kwanza fathered five lion cubs, a large litter for African lions, and a huge contribution towards the conservation of the species. He was often seen napping in his habitat with resident female African lion, Akili, and greeting guests at the Zoo’s Predator Zone. Kwanza served as an ambassador for his species, inspiring people to learn more about the conservation of African lions in the wild.

💚 KWANZA AFRICAN LION : Supporters and friends, it is with very heavy hearts that we report the passing of Kwanza, our...

Posted by The Birmingham Zoo on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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