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Zoo Knoxville saddened by death of Ann African lion

zoo knoxville lion dies
Zoo Knoxville's African lion, Ann; image courtesy of Zoo Knoxville

KNOXVILLE – Zoo Knoxville is saddened to announce the death of Ann African lion.

The 13-year-old lioness had emergency surgery on June 16 to treat pyometra, a life-threatening bacterial infection of the uterus. Despite the exhaustive efforts of her caretakers and the veterinary team from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Ann succumbed to suspected secondary complications from the pyometra on Saturday, June 27.

Ann was born at Zoo Knoxville in July, 2006, and was a beloved ambassador for her species because of her playful and curious personality. Over her lifetime, she educated millions of visitors about African lions.

“Ann was a very charismatic cat who was always youthful and full of life,” said Terry Cannon, Curator of Mammals. “She inspired a lot of people to care about lions and take action to protect them, and that is a fitting legacy for her.”

Zoo Knoxville is home to African lions Jimmy and Zarina. They are part of the African Lion Species Survival Plan, a collaborative effort of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) working to save lions from extinction. The number of lions in Africa are decreasing primarily due to threat from humans, and their population has shrunk in half over the past 25 years. It is estimated that fewer than 40,000 lions remain in the wild.

Published June 27, 2020










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