Topeka Zoo concerned about health of lion, elephant


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Two of Topeka Zoo’s older animals are feeling their age as of late, according to the City of Topeka.

Cora, an Asian elephant who is 61 years old, and Avus, a male African lion who is almost 15, make up some of the Topeka Zoo’s oldest residents.

The health of both animals has been declining over the past few years but has gotten worse over the past few weeks.

During a routine medical exam in February of 2018, it was discovered that Cora had a large mass growing. It was determined to be inoperable, and a few days ago, it started taking a visible toll on her overall wellbeing.

Cora’s caretakers noticed that she was more lethargic than normal and wasn’t eating as much. After some blood work, it was found that her condition was worsening.

“The bloodwork tells us that there is tissue destruction going on in her body, possibly cardiac failure,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley.

Caretakers also noticed that a few weeks ago, Avus the lion was not as steady on his feet as he usually was.

He has dealt with arthritis for the past few years and is now dealing with degenerative disc disease along his spine.

Zookeepers are focusing on keeping the elderly animals as comfortable as they can during this time.

“For both Avus and Cora, our efforts right now focus on making sure they are comfortable,” said Wiley. “They are both loved members of our family here.”

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