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Belfast Zoo says a sad farewell to Charlie the Barbary lion

Date: 05 Aug 2015

Barbary lion

We are sad to announce the recent death of Charlie the Barbary lion.

Charlie was born at Belfast Zoo on 25 October 2007 to mother, Fidda and father, Qays, as part of the collaborative breeding programme for Barbary lions (which are extinct in the wild). Throughout the past eight years Charlie has become a firm favourite with keepers and visitors alike, as we all watched him grow from a cub into an adult.

Zoo vet, Michael Griffith, said “I have been caring for Charlie from his first ever health checks when he was a little cub. Charlie has suffered with chronic digestive issues for several years and he was receiving constant treatment. However, it appeared that this treatment was no longer effective and staff had recently noticed changes in Charlie’s behaviour and health. On Sunday 19 July 2015, after his health rapidly declined and he was in discomfort, the difficult decision was made to euthanize him.

Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, is devastated by the recent loss “This is a very sad time for the whole zoo team. We were all extremely fond of Charlie and have watched him grow up at the zoo over the past eight years. It is always devastating to watch an animal that we all care for go downhill so quickly and to have to make such a difficult decision is heartbreaking. Charlie was such a character and will be greatly missed by the keepers who worked with him. He is a huge loss to staff, the Barbary lion pride and zoo visitors.”