OKLAHOMA CITY – Staff at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden are mourning the loss of a beloved animal.
Hunter, a 16-year-old male mountain lion, was humanely euthanized on Wednesday, according to the zoo.
Zoo officials say Hunter had been receiving supportive treatment for arthritis and kidney issues since 2015 and recently started showing difficulty in standing and moving.
“His hind legs were weak and he was likely experiencing pain due to degenerative spine disease,” zoo officials said on Facebook. “After concluding nothing more could be done medically, caretaker and veterinary teams made the difficult but necessary decision to humanely euthanize.”
Hunter’s brother, Rolex, passed away in 2017. They both arrived at the zoo in September 2003 at about six months old after being confiscated from a wildlife pet breeder.
They lived in Cat Forest before moving to the Oklahoma Trails’ habitat in 2007.
According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the median life expectancy for mountain lions is 13.6 years.