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Shombay the lion at Reid Park Zoo euthanized due to kidney disease

Shombay The Lion
Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 18:12:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A 12-year-old African lion at Reid Park Zoo named Shombay was humanely euthanized Wednesday morning after recent tests showed a decline in kidney function.

He had been living with polycystic kidney disease since 2016, according to zoo officials.

Reid Park Zoo posted the following statement to its website:

“Losing Shombay is particularly difficult for our team,” Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations, said. “Our animal care and veterinary teams worked so hard to encourage him to participate in training sessions to help save his life. When he received these additional fluids, he would act more energetic. The team could see clear evidence of how their skills and dedication helped Shombay. They are all proud to have worked with him and our Zoo is so lucky to have such dedicated staff.”

Shombay had been at the zoo since 2010.

He and the zoo's other lion Kaya had several litters of cubs in the last decade. Most of those cubs are now at other zoos, but the two's 6-year-old daughter Nayo still resides at Reid Park.

“We expect their behaviors to be different in the near future as they adapt to life without Shombay,” Animal Care Supervisor Rebecca Edwards said. “Our team will do all we can to make the transition as easy as possible.”