Lion dies after surgery in Toledo Zoo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lion dies after surgery in Toledo Zoo

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Toledo Zoo says that Wisdom, one of three white lions on loan from Siegfried and Roy, died Thursday following surgery to treat a deteriorating spinal condition.

"Wisdom had a history of back issues which our veterinary team successfully managed with therapeutic steroidal treatments," Randi Meyerson, the Zoo's assistant director of animal programs, said. "However, recently his symptoms began to worsen."

The Zoo arranged to have a mobile computerized tomography (CT) unit brought to the Zoo to provide more detailed diagnosis of Wisdom's condition; that scan indicated intervertebral disc disease.

"Two discs in Wisdom's spine were compressing his spinal cord," Dr. Meyerson said. "Without corrective surgery, the condition would have eventually paralyzed him."

Three experienced, Board-certified veterinary neurological specialists worked with the Zoo's veterinary team to perform the corrective surgery. Although the surgical procedure was successful, Wisdom did not awaken afterward from the anesthesia.

Wisdom was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 and came to the Toledo Zoo in 2003. He lived in the Tembo Trail exhibit with his brothers, Courage and Legend.

"Wisdom was a charismatic animal whose loss is keenly felt by Zoo staff, visitors and supporters," Jeff Sailer, the executive director of the Zoo, said. "But I am proud of the tireless work put into his diagnostic treatment and care; it is because of these tremendous efforts that his quality of life remained high."

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