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Racine Zoo addresses visitor concerns about leg of lion named Aslan

A visitor at the Racine Zoo recently became concerned when seeing one of the lion's apparently drag his rear leg.

The visitor took video and came to CBS 58 News looking for answers.

The zoo says this is an injury that didn't heal right before the lion ever got to Wisconsin.

Zoo keepers give him cortisone to ease the pain and he's been doing joint therapy for years.

In fact the zoo released a lengthy statement to quell any lingering concerns for the lion name Aslan.

"The Racine Zoo would like to acknowledge the constant concern for our wonderful sire male lion, Aslan.

When Aslan was a cub he injured his growth plate on his back left leg when he was engaged in playful activity with siblings.

The Racine Zoo received Aslan in 2005, and by this point, the injury was healed but unfortunately did not quite heal properly which would later cause him to develop degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) back in 2007.

Discussion and exams with an orthopedic specialist from UW-Madison confirmed surgery to fix his malformed tibia was not an option. Aslan then started a glucosamine capsule daily regiment and in 2011 he began cortisone injections to help ease any discomfort. From his initial diagnosis, he was monitored every few months for pain and discomfort. Since 2013 he has been engaged in joint therapy and is observed every two weeks by our veterinary technician along with daily observation from his wonderful keepers here at the Racine Zoo.

Since his arrival. Aslan has sired two litters here at the Racine Zoo with his lovely mate Azizi. The most recent litter was in 2014, all cubs were happy and healthy, and raised here. All but two have moved to other AZA-accredited zoo's to start a pride of their own.

We appreciate the love and concern from our guests here at the Racine Zoo and would like to assure everyone that Aslan is under the best care and is constantly monitored and looked after.

The Racine Zoo is a nonprofit organization and depends on our wonderful community and people like you to make this place the best it can be. Without you, there is no Zoo!

Best Regards, Savannah Ingram Marketing/PR Manager Racine Zoo"


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