Lion's death should prompt more health exams
I read the Salina Journal article, "Remembering Sahar: Rolling Hills Zoo lion cause of death determined" in the Thursday, Oct. 17, issue. It is sad to learn that the cause of death of Sahar the lion was a fungal infection that spread to "lesions in the brain and lungs" according to the article. Although zoo officials feel that the disease was not detected by "routine" exams on the big cat, they did admit that the illness was seen too late.
This story really hits home for me, since I am a human with brain lesions seen only on my brain MRI-scans and I have to monitor my brain lesions regularly. Although Sahar's life couldn't be saved, I would encourage all zoos to do more comprehensive preventive health exams. It is vital that animal health (just like human health) be monitored for subtle yet potentially fatal changes. More investigation needs to be done to try to determine how the lion was infected.
Sahar was born in 2010 and considered an "icon" who frequently sat high atop the rocks observing visitors to the zoo or watching over the pride of lions.
James A. Marples, Esbon