The male lion, named Dumisani, was 18 years old and had lived at the
Although formidable in appearance, the lion was known for a nonconfrontational demeanor.
"He reminded me of a house cat until you saw him rip apart a bone or place his enormous paw on the window," zoo director
Dumisani's parents were from the wild, making his genes desirable for breeding. The zoo brought in two females from
But the zoo discovered that the lions had feline immunodeficiency virus and were not suitable for breeding. Officials decided to allow one litter to be produced to increase the size of the zoo's pride.
A second litter, however, was not anticipated. The females had undergone a contraceptive procedure, but one of them became pregnant anyway.
In all, Dumisani sired seven cubs in two litters, creating one of the largest prides among American zoos. All of those lions remain here.
The virus is spread by exposure to other cats, so
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