INDIANAPOLIS (CBS4) — An African lion at the Indianapolis Zoo has died after being injured during a “physical incident” with a lioness earlier this week. The zoo posted the announcement on Facebook on Friday.
The male lion, Nyack, was 10 years old. The zoo said Nyack and the lioness, Zuri, had three cubs together in 2015.
Zuri and the other three lions are all OK, zoo officials said.
“We will conduct a thorough review to attempt to understand what may have led to this,” officials stated. “Nyack was a magnificent lion and he will be greatly missed. We appreciate the support from our community as we cope with the loss.”
The Indy Star cited a news released from the zoo as saying that animal care staff heard “an unusual amount” of roaring from the outdoor lion yard and saw Zuri being aggressive with Nyack in the presence of their daughter, Sukari.
“Zoo workers tried to break up the lions, but were unsuccessful. Zuri held Nyack by the neck until the lion stopped moving,” the paper cited the release as stating. “A necropsy found that Nyack died of suffocation from injuries to the neck.”
The zoo’s website describes 12-year-old Zuri as an “attentive and protective mother.”
“She can be found in the exhibit keeping an eye on her three cubs. She weighs around 325 pounds, just 25 pounds less than Nyack,” the web page states.
It describes Nyack as being “very vocal” but also “very laid back.”
You can see photos of Nyack, Zuri and their three offspring here.