SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One of the San Diego Zoo's oldest residents was euthanized due to age-related illnesses Wednesday.
The zoo's male African lion, M'bari, had been suffering from a degenerative kidney, large kidney cyst, and spinal arthritis and under veterinary care before the decision was made to put him down, according to park spokesperson Andrew Jones.
At 15-years-old, M'bari had exceeded expectations of a lion's average lifespan, which is about 10 years in the wild and can exceed 25 years in captivity, according to the zoo.
"In recent days, his condition had steadily worsened, despite attempts by animal care staff to modify his habitat to make him more comfortable," a statement from the zoo read. "This morning, because of his worsening quality of life, animal care staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him."
M'bari was introduced to locals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 2004 with the opening of Lion Camp when he was about two years old. He eventually moved to the San Diego Zoo in 2009, and has most recently lived with his mate, Etosha, in the Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey habitat.
Perhaps the most vocal of the pride, visitors were routinely treated to M'bari's mighty roar when visiting the park.
"His early morning and late afternoon roars could be heard throughout the entire Zoo," officials said.