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Topeka Zoo mourns loss of Avus the lion

Veterinary staff at the Topeka Zoo made the difficult decision to euthanize a 16-year-old...
Veterinary staff at the Topeka Zoo made the difficult decision to euthanize a 16-year-old African lion named Avus Friday morning.(Kathleen Otto)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 12:40 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Veterinary staff at the Topeka Zoo made the difficult decision to euthanize a 16-year-old African lion named Avus Friday morning.

According to Zoo Director Brendan Wiley, Avus had been suffering from “age-related issues” for some time. His condition deteriorated this week and did not improve with medication. “Today is a sad day for our extended zoo family,” Wiley said. “Avus led an impactful life at our zoo, inspiring guests to care more about wildlife and conservation.”

Avus was born at a Wisconsin zoo in 2004 and came to Topeka in 2006 to pair with lionesses Zuri and Asante. In 2007, Avus and Asante became parents to a cub named Adia, who in turn provided the pair with two grandsons that live in other zoos.

Avus was a favorite of zoo guests and staff alike. He was very laid back and known for pretending he didn’t hear zookeepers when it was time to go inside so he could get a few more minutes of sleep. He will be greatly missed by many.

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