Animals – Zurich Zoo shortens the suffering of the venerable Radja

PostedMay 31, 2021, 3:34 p.m.

One of the oldest Asiatic lions in captivity in Europe suffered from intestinal problems. After surgery, his caregivers had to resolve to perform euthanasia.

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Zoo Zurich, Marcel Rothmund
Radja at the time when the big cats are resting.

Radja at the time when the big cats are resting.

Zurich Zoo, Enzo Franchini

Zurich Zoo, Enzo Franchini

The venerable Asiatic lion Radja is no more. He was just under 16, Zurich Zoo reports in a statement.

Last Thursday, the feline, who was suffering from an intestinal prolapse, went to the pool table. An operation that his healers initially believed to be crowned with success. But the next day, they could only see that his intestines had ruptured again. Considering that further examinations and treatments would have seriously compromised Radja’s quality of life and, given her advanced age, the decision was taken to reduce her suffering.

Born in neighboring France

Radja was among the oldest Asiatic lions in captivity in Europe. He was born in 2005 at the Besançon zoo, in France. During her stay at Zurich Zoo, Radja and her partner Joy gave birth to seven pups in two litters. Currently, Radja’s daughters, Kalika and Jeevana, are still staying at Zoo Zurich.

Radja’s body is currently being examined in the pathology department of the animal hospital. His remains will be made available to science or used for educational purposes.

It will be replaced

In consultation with the coordinator of the European endangered species breeding program, Zurich Zoo intends to house a new male lion in a future that has not yet been precisely defined.


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