Perth Zoo is mourning the passing of ‘Nelson’ the African Lion.

Nelson was treated for a bout of pneumonia in January. Although he initially responded to medical care, over the last few days his condition deteriorated and further tests revealed an aggressive renal abscess and the persistence of pneumonia.

Nelson was showing signs of a serious infection, and his prognosis for recovery was poor. Sadly the difficult decision was made to end his suffering.

Nelson was an older lion and would have celebrated his 14th birthday in May. The average lifespan for male African Lions in the wild is approximately 12 years.

Nelson was born in the UK with his litter brother, ‘Mandela’ and made the move to Perth Zoo in 2007.

Alongside his brother and lioness, ‘Shinyanga’, Nelson was a well-known Perth Zoo animal and loved by visitors and staff alike.

Being a social species, the keepers will be carefully monitoring the other the two remaining lions as they adjust to this loss.