Phoenix Zoo officials announce death of African lion Kitambi

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Officials with the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation and the Phoenix Zoo announced Wednesday that Kitambi, an eight-year-old male African lion, passed away Tuesday night.

According to a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Kitambi began to show signs of acute lameness on the afternoon of August 17, and animal care staff began to monitor his condition. The lameness persisted, and Kitambi became more lethargic with a loss of appetite. Kitambi was found to have an infection of his right rear leg on August 20, and died on Tuesday night, following a further examination and a rapid deterioration of his health.

Zoo officials said Kitambi was taken to the Midwestern University's College of Veterinary Medicine Wednesday morning for a necropsy.

Kitambi, according to officials, was born at the Columbus Zoo on November 1, 2011, and has lived at the Phoeniz Zoo since 2012.