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Sad day for Wellington Zoo

28 August 2006

Sad day for Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo's oldest male lion, Sam, died today aged 17 years, Life Sciences Manager, Dr. Katja Geschke announced today.

'We noticed that Sam had been losing condition lately, and this morning he didn't get up at all. We believe he was suffering from renal failure, a common condition in older big cats.'

'We made the difficult decision this afternoon to put an end to his pain and euthanise him. It is always a sad occasion when an animal dies but their welfare and wellbeing is our top priority,' Katja said.

'Sam was much loved by Zoo visitors and staff alike and he will be missed. The Zoo's neighbours may also miss his roaring which was often heard at night.'

'We are lucky to have a fantastic portrait of Sam donated to us by Vincent's Art Workshop which hangs in the Zoo's foyer. This will enable all visitors to the Zoo to remember Sam.'

Sam came to Wellington Zoo from Auckland Zoo and was born in Rotorua in 1989. Five lions remain at Wellington Zoo, three lionesses and two young males.

ENDS

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