By Associated Press - Tuesday, March 23, 2021

MIAMI (AP) - An 11-year-old lioness was euthanized at Zoo Miami after a veterinary team determined she had sustained a non-compressive injury to her spine, zoo officials said.

Kashifa suddenly lost mobility in her hind legs while on exhibit at the zoo on March 4. The medical team examined her and didn’t find an obvious cause, Ron Magill, the zoo’s communication director, said in an email. An MRI performed within 48 hours revealed the diagnosis.

After nearly three weeks of intensive treatment, Kashifa showed no improvement and was not able to feel any deep pain or other sensation in her hind quarters, Magill said. Officials ultimately made the painful decision to euthanize her on Monday.

Kashifa, who was born at the Bronx Zoo in 2010, gave birth to a litter of 4 cubs in 2014 at Zoo Miami. She raised her own cubs and also adopted the orphaned cub of her sister. Magill said Kashifa often gave her adopted cub K’wasi special attention as if she realized the trauma he had been through losing his own mother.

“Zoo Miami feels privileged to have been the home to this majestic cat and to have seen her cubs grow into beautiful adults themselves. They will be her legacy,” Magill wrote.

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