We are very much saddened by the passing of Jasiri the African Lion. Jasiri has been at Taronga Western Plains Zoo since 2002 and was popular amongst keepers and visitors.
Over the course of last week, Jasiri had been a bit off and not grooming or looking after himself the way he normally would. Urine tests were conducted, with some abnormal findings, so our veterinary team decided to anaesthetise Jasiri to further investigate his illness.
This revealed severely impaired function of various organs, consistent with his mature years. Staff made the heart breaking decision on Friday to put Jasiri to sleep following the discovery of his condition.
Jasiri was a 14 year old male whose name meant ‘fearless’ in Swahili. His keepers described him as an extremely attractive, well toned and muscular male lion. He was not as social as other cats at the Zoo, sometimes he even appeared to be a little arrogant to people, especially those he had not met before.
Jasiri possessed a very dominant nature and at times would wrinkle his nose, guttural growl, mock charge and display his big powerful teeth to show his assertiveness.
He did however have a gentler side to his nature and was rather affectionate to his favourite female lion, often observed rubbing her head and cheek, producing soft deep ‘meows.’ Jasiri had a very endearing side that was sometimes aloof and sometime playful.
Jasiri was a well known animal at the Zoo which many visitors would have met as part of the daily Lion Encounter or on tour as part of Zoofari Lodge. Jasiri will be sadly missed by his keepers who had developed a close bond with him over the past 11 years and feel comfort in knowing that he can now be at peace and free from pain and illness.
Lion Keeper, Fiona