FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo shared unfortunate news with the community Thursday.
Its African lion, Bill, had a medical exam on Wednesday that revealed he had lumps consistent with cancer.
Zoo leaders said they became concerned after Bill had a bloody nose in the fall of 2015. They said zoo keepers also recorded inconsistencies with Bill’s appetite.
Bill is just under ten years old. He arrived at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in December of 2008, along with Ina, the zoo’s female African lioness.
“Bill’s friendly, laid back personality has always made him a hit with the staff,” says Dr. Joe Smith, director of animal programs. “He is a favorite with our visitors, posing regularly in front of the smaller exhibit window for that perfect photo. The people in our community know him by name.”
Bill’s condition means he won’t be out for visitors when the zoo opens April 23. However, the zoo said he will have access to his behind-the scenes- exercise yard where he can be comfortable and rest in privacy.