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Niabi Zoo Adds Leopard, Could Lose Lion

Credit Niabi Zoo

One week after saying goodbye to a jaguar, the local zoo is preparing to lose another one of its big cats. This week, Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley announced the 21-year-old African lion, Mufasa, is in poor health.

Interim Zoo Director, Dan Meates, says Mufasa was born and raised at Niabi, and has already out-lived his life expectancy by 5 years. The lion has kidney failure and vision loss, and zoo staff are monitoring his health closely.

Meates says the death of Mufasa will be hard on both staff and visitors, especially after the loss of Jackson, a 21-year-old jaguar that was euthanized last week. This year's spring opening will be the first in two decades without the big cat.

But, Niabi Zoo does have good news to share. It's welcoming a young Amur Leopard, named Zeke, to its pack when the zoo opens next month.