A white lion at the Toledo Zoo has passed away, one of three white lions on loan to the zoo from renowned animal trainers Siegfried & Roy.
The Toledo Zoo says they are saddened by the death of white lion Wisdom, who suffered a spinal condition for which he underwent surgery recently.
According to a statement issued by the Toledo Zoo, the white lion had been increasingly plagued by his back problems and required surgery to correct the issue. Dr. Randi Meyerson, the Zoo’s assistant director of animal programs, says:
Wisdom had a history of back issues which our veterinary team successfully managed with therapeutic steroidal treatments… However, recently his symptoms began to worsen.”
The release explains that the Toledo Zoo arranged for a tomography unit to be brought in to assess the extent of Wisdom’s problems, and that vets spotted intervertebral disc disease on the scan.
“Two discs in Wisdom’s spine were compressing his spinal cord… Without corrective surgery, the condition would have eventually paralyzed him.”
A team of three surgeons worked on the Toledo Zoo’s white lion to perform the necessary surgery. Sadly, the procedure was “successful,” but Wisdom never woke up after being put under for the surgery.
Toledo Zoo executive director Jeff Sailer commented on the loss of Wisdom, saying:
Wisdom was a charismatic animal whose loss is keenly felt by Zoo staff, visitors and supporters… But I am proud of the tireless work put into his diagnostic treatment and care; it is because of these tremendous efforts that his quality of life remained high.
The Toledo Zoo’s white lion exhibit where Wisdom lived also features two brothers, Courage and Legend. Wisdom was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 and moved to Toledo in 2003 where he lived in the Tembo Trail exhibit with his siblings.