According to WSOC-TV, the North Carolina Zoo said a 23-year-old African lion has passed away. He had been battling renal disease.
Reilly was the oldest male lion in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited institution.
Zookeeper Beth Malott said, “He was so tolerant of his rambunctious offspring and was fiercely devoted to his lady lion, Mekita. Reilly was a one-of-a-kind soul, and his morning roars will be greatly missed.”
Reilly had been struggling with renal disease. The animal care team and veterinarians made the decision to euthanize him.
Reilly was born at Lincoln Park Zoo on February 7, 1999, and came to the zoo in Asheboro on March 23, 2001. He fathered a total of nine offspring.
According to officials, a lion’s average lifespan in the wild is about 10-15 years, while male lions under human care have a median life expectancy of 17 years. RIP Reilly.
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Reilly, the male African lion. Reilly was 23 y/o & had been battling renal disease for several yrs. He far exceeded the normal lifespan of a male lion at 10-15 years. Reilly will be greatly missed! ❤️ More: https://t.co/XVh3KrfYTa pic.twitter.com/OzWlLfcaqe— North Carolina Zoo (@NCZoo) August 3, 2022