Auckland Zoo: option Euthanizing Lion & # 39; s only

Moving one of two Auckland Zoo lions euthanated earlier this year was never an option because of potential welfare problems and the state of health of 17-year-old Amira.

Almost three months after Amira and her 19-year-old mother, Kura, was put to sleep, the zoo confirmed that Amira suffered from irreversible health problems after death that would have caused fatal kidney failure in the near future.

The zoo took the heartbreaking decision to euthanize her two remaining lions in June. The couple is mourned by staff and regulars from the zoo.

Kura had struggled to maintain her weight, showed signs of being vulnerable – including submission to her daughter – and her quality of life had deteriorated drastically [19659002] Auckland Zoo has released a series of documents under the official Information law to the Herald on Sunday, showing the deep concern that the lions have shown in the months prior to their death, and the steps taken prior to the decision to lay them down – including assessing the Amira option to be moved.

In an e-mail exchange, the curator of mammals of Auckland Zoo, Warren Spencer, said he seriously doubted the move. Amira was an option because other animals would not tolerate her.

"When I say, I do not want to tolerate her, I mean that this could result in a fatal injury," Spencer wrote in an e-mail.

He said that he felt that the zoo had the necessary knowledge to make the decision without advice from external carnivore specialists.

Leaving Amira alone living in Auckland Zoo was also ruled out.

"It would be inconceivable for us to consider keeping every single elderly lion here, regardless of the time we throw at it," Spencer said. ] The curator later approached the Australasian type coordinator for urgent advice on the "complicated situation".

"I can not think Amira will go to the region at this age, plus I am not so sure that she would do very well with the transport or separation of Kura and the enormous amount of stress these events would

"I think I would rather have them go with her mother", wrote Spencer

] The Australasian coordinator responded and said there was no point that Amira knew where they were going because there were no single men in the

The problem was further discussed by telephone.

Talking to the Bode on Sunday, Auckland Zoo director Kevin Buley said the species coordinator had a complete underestimation of all reallocation options at all recognized zoos. [19659002] "Integrating adult female lions into an existing pride would have been stressful and dangerous for her and would have resulted in injury and possible death," Buley said.

The Carnivoo r from the zoo team leader, Lauren Booth, said about the decision to lay down the lions: "We love both Amira and Kura and will miss them terribly, but we know that euthanasia enabled Amira to die peacefully with Kura and do not endure unnecessary suffering. "

Buley said that lions were an incredibly important part of the future plans of the zoo because of their strength in connecting people with wildlife.

The zoo is part of an international breeding program for the species. 19659002] Buley said in a few years the zoo will receive a young breed group as part of the program for this big cat, now listed as & # 39; fragile & # 39; with a declining population.

"In the meantime, we have just two male lions from Wellington Z welcomed oo who will stay with us for a period while we are without a pride. "

The upper end of life expectancy for female lions in the wild was 15 years, and 17 years in zoos.

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