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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Zoo is mourning its 11-year-old lioness Kashifa.
Zoo Miami’s director of communications, Ron Magill, said Kashifa lost mobility in her hind legs during her show on March 4th.
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The veterinary team did not immediately find an obvious cause of her paraplegia. However, an MRI that checked her spine and nerve function found that she had a non-compressive injury to her spinal cord.
Unfortunately, after nearly three weeks of intensive care by the Animal Health and Animal Science teams, Kashifa showed no improvement in her condition and could not feel any deep pain or other sensations in her hindquarters. After extensive deliberation and dedicated efforts to provide Kashifa with every possible route to recovery, it was determined that she had sustained an incurable injury and the painfully difficult decision to put her to sleep on Monday March 22nd.
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Kashifa, who was born in 2010 at the Bronx Zoo, won the hearts of countless zoo visitors when she gave birth to a litter of 4 cubs at the Miami Zoo in 2014.
Not only was she a great mother to her 4 boys, she also adopted her sister’s orphaned boy and not only successfully raised him, but often paid special attention to him, as if realizing the trauma he suffered from losing his own mother had suffered.
K’wasi has since moved on to Lion Country Safari, where he fathered his own cubs.
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Magill said the Miami Zoo felt privileged to have been home to this majestic cat and to see their cubs grow into beautiful adults themselves. You will be her legacy. We are all deeply saddened to lose this great animal.