PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium says their 10-year-old African lion, Razi, has passed away.
The zoo says Razi suffered from a form of epilepsy, and had a grand mal seizure on Sunday. He fell in the exhibit and fractured his jaw.
According to the zoo, Razi’s caretakers determined it was not in his “best interest to attempt the difficult surgery needed” to repair his broken jaw, as well as the difficult post-surgery care it would take to get him back on his paws. They also said his seizure rate was increasing.
In a press release, Zoo President and CEO Barbara Baker said: “It is a sad day for all of us. Our animals are like members of our family and losing a family member is tough. Razi was a magnificent animal, and will also be missed by our visitors who developed a bond with him and his brother Ajani.”
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our African lion, Razi. Many of us have developed a strong bond and attachment to our magnificent Razi over the years and he will be so deeply missed. Read the full press release: https://t.co/lapH1AcqwG pic.twitter.com/2ODqymtPMk
— Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (@PghZoo) July 10, 2019
Razi was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, a very rare condition in lions, in the spring of 2013, zoo officials said. He was being treated with anti-seizure medications for the condition.
The zoo’s Director of Animal Health Dr. Ginger Sturgeon says: “Razi was an amazing cat. He allowed us to get voluntary blood samples from his tail every couple of months to check his medication serum levels and his liver function. It’s so hard for all of us at the zoo to lose an animal we have cared so deeply for, but we try to remember all of the good memories and positive impact that he had on our zoo visitors.”
The zoo says they are keeping a very close on on Razi’s brother, Ajani, as the two were inseparable.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.