Zoo Puts Down Arthritic Lion

Cape May County Park and Zoo officials have euthanized the zoo's 16-year-old male lion Brutu because his health was deteriorating.

The lion began having age-related arthritis with his hind legs during the winter and an MRI revealed he also had spinal cord issues.

"After extensive and careful evaluation, it was realized that ‘Bru’ wouldn’t get better," said Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, a liaision to the zoo. "His condition continued to deteriorate and he was euthanized on Friday morning. We are deeply saddened about losing him but inspired by his courage and bravery during the last several months."

Associate veterinarian Alexander Ernst tells The Press of Atlantic City that the compressed spinal cord continued to affect Brutu's coordination and stability. Ernst says it was clear the condition was not going to get better.

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