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Zoo New England mourns death of Kamaia lion

Franklin Park Zoo is saddened to share that after further health decline, 14-year-old lion, Kamaia, was humanely euthanized on September 2, 2023.

Since the spring, Kamaia has battled several health issues including a bout with severe pneumonia from which he recovered and other chronic health issues. On June 9, he underwent a successful splenectomy and blood transfusion. Prior to this surgery, an exam revealed that Kamaia was severely anemic with a greatly enlarged spleen. Kamaia underwent a second surgery to repair a hernia at his incision site. He recovered from his surgery and for the past several months could be seen sunning himself and lounging about his outdoor habitat with his brother Dinari.

“Kamaia was an incredible ambassador for his species, and we are deeply saddened to share the news of his passing,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Throughout the past several months, his dedicated care team has worked tirelessly to treat and care for Kamaia and ensure that he was comfortable. This news is never easy, and we ask that you keep his care team in your thoughts at this difficult time.”

Kamaia and his brother Dinari, also age 14, have resided at Franklin Park Zoo since 2015. Dinari can continue to be seen in his outdoor habitat.

“Kamaia was such an impressive presence,” said Chris Bartos, an Assistant Curator at Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo. “Kamaia was a favorite amongst his care team, and he really enjoyed his enrichment including tearing into boxes and bags to look for the treats hidden inside, as well as rolling in unusual scents. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”