Cincinnati, Ohio (December, 2014) —Future, one of two male African white lions loaned permanently to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden by Siegfried and Roy in 1998, was euthanized yesterday due to age-related health issues.
The 17-year-old lion had been unable to venture into his outdoor exhibit since late October and struggled to walk in recent days. “Future’s ambulatory condition had deteriorated and his quality of life was a significant concern. Euthanasia was the most humane course of action,” said Mark Campbell, Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal health. The average lifespan for lions in North American zoos is 16.8 years.
Future and his brother, “Sunshine,” came to the Cincinnati Zoo when they were three months old. They lived in a group with female “Prosperity” until 2001, when she had cubs. The males were separated from the female and cubs after that.
Sunshine’s new companions will be Prosperity and “Gracious,” their 13-year-old daughter.
According to Michael Land, Future’s keeper for most of his life, “Future was a wonderful cat. He was easy going as lions go and let Sunshine do all the worrying. We will miss him.”
“Future” was our Brother; he will be sorely missed, especially since we are in the midst of the Holiday Season. We wish him a Magical Journey – SARMOTI – Siegfried & Roy”