Memphis Zoo announces death of African lioness - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Zoo announces death of African lioness

(Photo Source: Memphis Zoo) (Photo Source: Memphis Zoo)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Memphis Zoo announced the death of an African lioness, Savannah.

Savannah was 20 when she died of cancer on March 12. She was placed in the zoo's hospice care earlier this month so veterinarians could closely monitor her health and keep her comfortable. They eventually decided to euthanize her to "avoid prolonging or suffering."

“To me, she was such a quintessential part of the Memphis Zoo,” said Felicia Knightly, head veterinarian, in a written statement. “She was always a greeter for people when they came in. [She was] always on her rock.”

Her handlers say it's difficult to accept the fact that she's gone.

"Yeah, she's been at the zoo since 2007 and the keepers got very close to her," said Gail Karr, Memphis Zoo. "Savannah's favorite place was center on her hot rock, so she can see the whole zoo. She liked to watch everything go by during the day."

Savannah lived a good life, her handlers said. Gone but never forgotten.

"She was a lion through and through. A very tough girl, but one of the keeper's favorites," Karr added.

Three lions remain at Memphis Zoo. Officials are hoping the two lionesses and the male lion will have cubs.

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