With heavy hearts, today we must report the loss of our male African lion, Shambe. After a brief but fast-acting illness, he was humanely euthanized, passing away peacefully this morning.
Shambe was born in 2005 at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas; he joined the NEW Zoo as a member of the African Lion Species Survival Program in 2007. Over the years, he fathered five cubs in two litters, all of which are now grown and living at other AZA accredited zoos in the United States.
As an older lion, Shambe’s health has been monitored closely by zookeeping and veterinary staff. He had been under treatment in recent weeks for what appeared to be an eye infection. Approximately two weeks ago, zoo staff completed a full physical exam and took blood samples. Unfortunately, test results revealed no definitive cause for his illness. He remained under veterinarian observation, receiveing medication and support. In the past few days, Shambe’s health rapidly declined. The decision was made to humanely euthanize him on Friday morning.
Preliminary results from Shambe’s full necropsy indicate that a rapidly-spreading cancer is the underlying cause of his illness. Cancer is quite common in members of the cat family, especially as they age. Zoo staff expect to receive full test results from the necropsy in the next four to five weeks. We will update the public as results come in.
For ten years, Shambe has been a well-loved member of the NEW Zoo family. Zookeepers and all zoo staff alike mourn his loss. His roars, often heard throughout the Suamico area, will be greatly missed. We appreciate your support during this difficult time.