• Atlanta Zoo lion put down due to age-related complications


    ATLANTA - The Atlanta Zoo announced Monday that its 22-year-old male African lion has died.

    Farasi was 22 years old and had been at the zoo for nearly 13 years. He was the oldest pedigreed male African lion in North America.

    “Farasi was a very special member of the Zoo Atlanta family. We’re all saddened by his loss, but we’re fortunate to have shared just a portion of his long and colorful life,” said Deputy Director Dwight Lawson. “The fact that he lived to such an advanced age is certainly a testament to him, but it’s also a tribute to the animal care professionals who provided him with outstanding care and enrichment during his years with us.”

    Zoo Atlanta said veterinarians made the decision to put the lion down due to age-related complications that were compromising his quality of life.

    “The majestic Farasi was an impressive sight in the Zoo’s African Plains, but he was best known for his vocalizations. His trademark roar, which guests often mistook for a recording, frequently echoed in the park and in the surrounding Grant Park community as he established Zoo Atlanta as his domain. A second male lion’s voice joined the Zoo’s natural soundtrack in 2005, and Farasi and the much-younger Kamau could often be heard vocalizing back and forth,” the Atlanta Zoo said in a release.

    The University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology service will perform a necropsy.

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