It is with great sadness that we bring you the news we all feared, we have had to let Zeus go peacefully. Zeus had been in hospital for more than a week as Dr Peter Caldwell worked to find a way to alleviate the incurable spondylitis and irreversible degenerative neuropathy, causing the 16-year old lion to lose the use of his hind legs.
The problems are a result of his suffering in the circus and first identified in 2017 when Zeus was hospitalized.
Last year, Zeus was hospitalized for 18 days when the condition worsened, and in July this year, for another 9 days. He always responded well to hospital, intrigued by the surroundings, sitting in the tunnel to the outside and watching the world go by, and enjoying the treats from the Old Chapel staff. At each visit, Dr Caldwell has been able to get our battered old warrior up on his feet again, and back with his friend Bumba at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. Sadly, this time it was not to be.
Despite Dr Caldwell’s efforts, Zeus was unresponsive to further treatment. The condition would continue to deteriorate, and he was increasingly unable to walk. No life for a lion. We are grateful that our magnificent Zeus was kept comfortable and pain free to the end, and this picture shows he remained proud and dignified.
Zeus was rescued by ADI in 2014 from a circus in Colombia where for almost a decade, he shared a small, bare, miserable cage with another lion. The appalling conditions, physical abuse, and malnutrition ravage the bodies of these animals.
Thanks to ADI supporters, Zeus got to spend his final years in his African homeland, living life as a lion should. Seeing Zeus, Bumba and Junior in a line, stealthily patrolling and stalking animals and birds at dusk in their 6.5-acre Sam&Eric Habitat, was a sight to behold. They found their instincts.
We are especially grateful for your support, and for the diligence of Dr Caldwell, who gave Zeus a very precious extra year of freedom after his disease started to worsen in October last year. Goodbye, old friend.