Eldest lion at Oakland Zoo dies at 19

State News

This undated photo provided by Colleen Renshaw shows Leonard, a 19-year-old African lion. The oldest lion at the Oakland Zoo has died. The zoo announced Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, that Leonard was euthanized on Sunday. He suffered from severe and progressive arthritis and kidney disease. (Colleen Renshaw via AP)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The oldest lion at the Oakland Zoo has died.

The zoo announced Tuesday that Leonard, a 19-year-old African lion, was euthanized on Sunday. He suffered from severe and progressive arthritis and kidney disease.

Leonard was a six-month-old cub when he and sister, Sandy, came to the zoo in 2000. They were rescued from a private home by Houston’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Sandy died in 2016 from cancer.

Leonard had no offspring but he was the eldest of four male lions at the zoo. The males never shared space for safety reasons but the zoo says Leonard would socialize with the younger lions through a fence by rubbing heads or “vocally scolding” them when they misbehaved.

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