Metro Richmond Zoo mourns death of beloved lion

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Pawl, a 21-year-old male lion who lived at the Metro Richmond Zoo for nearly 20 years – has been euthanized, zoo officials confirmed on Facebook.

“A few years ago, Pawl began suffering from arthritis. He was sedated for a full work up and has been medicated since. Over the last couple weeks, he was having a very difficult time getting up and down and going on exhibit. We increased his meds doses, but it did not help much. Pawl stopped eating and doing some of his favorite normal behaviors,” the zoo official posted. “On the morning of September 27th, Pawl was unable to get up, and it was time for us to make a very difficult decision. Our staff elected to humanely euthanize him. Pawl will always remain in the hearts of our zoo staff and guests.”

The zoo noted male lions often don’t live longer than 10 years in the wild.

“At the Zoo, he was able to live 20 years under the care of his beloved staff,” the zoo official posted. “Pawl is survived by Basa and Xonga, our two white lions.”