A 19-year-old male Asiatic lion at Hyderabad's Nehru Zoological Park died on Thursday due to old age complications. Officials at the zoo said that Atul, had been struggling due to his deteriorating health and was unable to walk.
Born at the zoo itself in 1999, Atul had been under the observation of zoo veterinarians for the last one week, and was being monitored closely, as he stopped having his feed.
A team of veterinary experts who performed the post-morterm, said that the cause of death was senility and old age.
"Atul has been an important part of our family and has sired 26 cubs which are presently accommodated in zoos in India and as well in the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic besides other zoos across the world," zoo curator Kshitija said in a press release.
The release also mentioned that while the average life span of an Asiatic Lion in the wild is 12-15 years, in captivity, the animals could live to be around 18 years.
Media reports added that samples were sent to the Veterinary Biological and Research Institute in Hyderabad for further investigation.
In June this year, officials witnessed the death of Jamuna, a 44-year-old female elephant who was suffering from a prolonged illness.
On March 14 this year, Jamuna had sprained her hind legs and was being treated and under observation since then. Zoo officials said that she was under pain and even had trouble sleeping at night.
As her legs continued going limp, Jamuna was shifted to the fodder plot, where she collapsed and later succumbed to her injuries.
In February last year, Nikhil, one of the most iconic Royal Bengal Tigers at the zoo, passed away.
Nikhil was born in October 1999, and the 18-year-old tiger had been suffering with brocho pneumonia for two months ahead of his demise.
Nikhil was the twin brother of tigress Sakhi, who was ruthlessly murdered and skinned when she was only 13-months-old by poachers who sneaked inside the zoo park.
The incident which had occurred in 2000, sent shockwaves across the city.