Okonko, the Calgary Zoo’s 16-year-old male lion, died this afternoon following a surgical procedure to remove his cancerous spleen.
Okonko’s heart failed during his recovery from the surgery. Efforts to save the lion were unsuccessful.
“Over the past year, we could see that Okonko’s age was gradually catching up
to him,” said area manager Jamie Dorgan.
Okonko was born in the Aalborg Zoo in Denmark. He was transferred, along with three female siblings, to the Calgary Zoo in April of 1997.