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Tallinn Zoo's Asiatic lion Juna dies at 17 years old

Asiatic lion Juna, also known as Johnny.
Asiatic lion Juna, also known as Johnny. Source: Maaja Kitsing/Tallinna loomaaed

According to Tallinn Zoo, 17-year old male Asiatic lion Juna, also known as Johnny, died on Wednesday. In addition, Betty, a chimpanzee, is battling health problems of her own.

In 2020, Juna was diagnosed with renal failure, a frequent issue among older felines. Juna's condition worsened significantly in the first weeks of January and vets did not give him much chance of improving. Due to pain and prevention of further suffering, Juna was sent off to an ever-lasting sleep on Wednesday, January 13.

Juna, a.k.a. Johnny, was born in Frankfurt Zoo on December 23, 2003. He became a resident of Tallinn Zoo in April of 2005, along with female lions Tori and Xylitol, also known as Ksjuša.

Male Asiatic lions live to 16 years on average. Johnny died at an age of 17 years and 21 days.

Chimpanzee Betty battling health problems as well

As a result of the noise and flashes of light from New Year's Eve fireworks, Tallinn Zoo chimpanzee Betty has not eaten or drunk well in the past days, along with acting nervously.

Betty's health reports from the previous three years have shown a pattern of her health dropping in the end of December and the start of January, Tallinn Zoo posted on their Facebook page on Wednesday.

Chimpanzees have better hearing then humans, which is why fireworks can be very bothersome for them. The resulting panic and stress can have long-standing effects on the primates.

"Betty needs a round of treatement, but she has spit out medicines so far. In the case of her health not improving in the near future, we must consider anesthesia and an IV," the zoo wrote.

The zoo also notes that Betty is not the only one negatively affected by fireworks and prior to lighting one, people should think if short-term fun is worth causing suffering for many.

Chimpanzee at Tallinn Zoo. Source: Tallinn Zoo


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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