Sanura, 15-year-old African lion, euthanized at the Milwaukee County Zoo

MILWAUKEE — Officials with the Milwaukee County Zoo said their 15-year-old female African lion has died.

The lion, named Sanura, was humanely euthanized Friday, Sept. 7.

Officials said in recent years, Sanura was experiencing several chronic health issues that the animal care staff was able to manage, but more recently, Sanura began to show signs of decline due to these issues, and the staff could no longer sufficiently manage them while still offering her an optimal quality of life.

The decision was made to humanely euthanize her. Her keepers remained with her throughout the entire process – even giving her a favorite snack of chunk meat and Redi Whip the night before, and the morning of the procedure.

Sanura was born July 8, 2003 at the Indianapolis Zoo, and arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 2005. While in Milwaukee, she lived with her mate, male lion, Themba, and in 2011 gave birth to a litter of three cubs.