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Lincoln Park Zoo euthanizes elderly African lion

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Adelor the lion was 18 years old when he was euthanized by zoo staff. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

The Lincoln Park Zoo announced Wednesday that they’ve euthanized Adelor, an 18-year-old African lion whose health and quality of life was deteriorating. The zoo notes that the average life expectancy of African lions is 14, so Adelor had a pretty long run. Over the course of 16 years living at the zoo he fathered five cubs.

While zoo visitors and staff are all very sad over this loss, no one is feeling it as acutely as Adelor’s female companion, Myra, a 15-year-old African lion. Zoo officials say they are “working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan” to find other lions to keep Myra company.

To help the public grieve this loss, the zoo has set up an online memorial for Adelor, where visitors can share their memories of the big cat.

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