CHICAGO — Lincoln Park Zoo’s male lion, Sahar, died last week, months after being moved to a Kansas zoo.
Sahar, 9, was at the Rolling Hills Zoo in Kansas when he died overnight between Thursday and Friday. He and the Lincoln Park Zoo’s two lionesses, Kamali and Zalika, had been living at the Kansas facility since May.
But on Thursday Sahar’s behavior changed. A physical showed nothing abnormal, according to Rolling Hills Zoo, and though he “seemed to be a little bit better after the exam” he died overnight.
A necropsy will be done to determine Sahar’s cause of death. Lions typically live about 15 years in the wild but can live up to 30 years in captivity, according to the Zoological Society of London.
Sahar was born Jan. 27, 2010, at the Bronx Zoo and moved to Chicago in February 2012.
The Lincoln Park Zoo shared news of Sahar’s death on Facebook and asked fans to post photos and stories of the lion. Hundreds of comments poured in.
“I loved talking to the keepers and volunteers who would [relay] stories of his personality,” one commenter wrote. “One of my favorites was when he was a bachelor lion for a short time and apparently was quite adamant in marking his entire enclosure to establish his ‘bachelor pad.'”
Others recalled the lion as majestic, active and handsome. Some said they’d cried at hearing the news of Sahar’s death.
“We were just at Lincoln Park yesterday and talking about how we were looking forward to his return,” one person wrote. “I remember hearing him roar from across the zoo. I couldn’t believe how loud it was and that an animal could make that sound. RIP Sahar.”