|Birth: ||unknown, USA|
|Death: ||Jun. 5, 2013|
Albion (Noble County)
Black Pine grieving loss of prized lioness
Julie Crothers | The Journal Gazette
Photo courtesy John Klein
Nala, among the earliest occupants of the Albion animal sanctuary, died this week at age 19. The lioness had been diagnosed with cancer.
Nala's caretakers at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary had a few words to say this week as they mourned the passing of the 19-year-old lioness.
She was sweet, comfortable, content and never aggressive.
She wouldn't even hurt a fly, except for ...
"Obviously, that's not true," Black Pine Executive Director Lori Gagen said with a laugh. "She was a lion, after all."
Nala was euthanized Wednesday after an examination revealed cancer had spread throughout her body.
"I've been calling her the matriarch of Black Pine," Gagen said. "She was one of our original members when Black Pine began."
The lion came to live at the sanctuary, 1426 W. Noble County Road 300 N., Albion, when she was about 6 months old.
"She was with a family with adults and young children in northwest Indiana and was being kept as a house pet," Gagen said. "They thought they could raise her like a big dog."
After the adult couple divorced, Nala was scheduled to be euthanized, but a judge contacted the Albion sanctuary to see whether it could find a home for her, Gagen said.
For nine years, she shared a cage with Shengi, another young lioness. Shengi later died of cancer.
Nala was spayed and had her claws removed as a young cub, which caused arthritis problems as she grew into a large cat, Gagen said.
"She had a lot of metabolism issues, but she surprised us year after year," she said. "I was always telling our visitors about the wonderful rebound she'd made in the past three years. We tried a different treatment for her arthritis, and she lost a dramatic amount of weight. We were extremely pleased."
About four years ago, Nala developed a small cyst on her back. Over the years, the spot grew to look like a wart and was often tested, Gagen said.
Last winter, the cyst burst, opening a wound on her back. Her keepers continued topical treatments for several months, but other issues arose and cancer was discovered.
Gagen said multiple samples were taken, but the cancer had spread and the decision was made that her time was up.
Nala was buried Wednesday in the memorial cemetery on the sanctuary grounds.
Gagen said the cage where Nala was living will likely be converted to a living area for another animal, possibly some of the four tigers that recently joined the sanctuary's family.
Specifically: Memorial Cemetery On Sanctuary Grounds
Created by: Steve
Record added: Jun 07, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111917283
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.