Lion Johnny Senior will be ‘greatly missed’ at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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ONE of the lions rescued by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park from a rundown Romanian zoo has died.

Johnny Senior, one of the oldest lions known in captivity and the eldest of the 13 lions rescued in 2010 from Oradea Zoo, Romania, died at the Park in Branton, Doncaster.

Park officials said his health had gradually declined to a level which meant his quality of life was unacceptable.

On Thursday, park directors, in consultation with vets and the park’s ethical committee, made the decision to have him put to sleep, rather than let him suffer in pain.

Before losing his battle, the 30-year-old big cat, father to three-year-old twins Dani and Simba spent his last hours of life in familiar surroundings in the Lion House at Lion Country. It had been his home for the past two and a half years with the pride.

Johnny was elderly when he was brought to Doncaster from Romania, arriving at his new home in a poor state with ulcers on his feet and tail, and emaciated by a poor diet.

His condition improved thanks to veterinary care and attention from staff at the wildlife park.

John Minion, park director, said: “We are all saddened by the loss of Johnny.

“His presence will be greatly missed.”