Oakland Zoo says goodbye to ‘Leonard’ the lion, euthanized at 19


OAKLAND (KRON) — Staff and guests at the Oakland Zoo said goodbye Sunday to an African lion who called the zoo home for nearly two decades.

“Leonard,” 19, struggled with arthritis and kidney disease, the zoo said, and on Sunday, the lion was euthanized.

The big cat first came to the Oakland Zoo in 2000 with his sister, Sandy.

The siblings were rescued from a home by the Houston SPCA and then brought to Oakland.

Sandy died in 2016 of cancer.

For the next three years after his sister’s death, Leonard “oversaw” three young lions who called the zoo home.

The zoo said on Facebook Tuesday that though Leonard did not live in the same space as the three other lions, he would often socialize with them through the fence.

Lions living in the wild have an average lifespan of 15 years, though if living in captivity, the mammals can live up to 30-years-old, according to the Zoological Society of London.

Photo: Oakland Zoo

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