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Cancer caused lion's death

Nagy the lion succumbed to cancer. - Submitted photo
Nagy the lion succumbed to cancer.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Cancer has been determined as the cause of death of Nagy, the male African Lion at Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.

Nagy was laid to rest on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.

Results from a complete necropsy from the zoo’s veterinarian Dr. Bruce Burton indicated that Nagy had multiple cancerous tumors in his lungs, thoracic wall and mediastinum. The fluid generated by the tumors in the chest cavity caused his discomfort.

"We have to take comfort in the role we played in providing him with a long and healthy life. The fact that he was such a magnificent individual, and that we were able to be an important part of his life was a unique reward of immeasurable value," said Burton in a statement.

"To have to be one making the decision to end his life was exceptionally painful. But the fact that he died of a disease that we could neither have prevented nor treated, offers some measure of comfort.

"My relationship with Nagy will be cherished and he will be greatly missed," said Burton.

Nagy’s daughters, Mali and Kali, also "continue to be very vocal since Nagy has left," said spokesperson Jody Henderson.

Nagy was born in 1992 and came to the zoo in 1999 from the Okanagan Game Farm. He had two mates, Mama and Auntie, over his 18 years and was the father of three litters with a total of nine offspring.

Mama succumbed to cancer last March. Mali and Kali, aged seven, are the only lions remaining with the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

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