Perth Zoo lion Mandela dies after routine procedure

Mandela the Lion died from heart failure today. Picture: Marcus Whisson.
Mandela the Lion died from heart failure today. Picture: Marcus Whisson.

PERTH Zoo has confirmed that Mandela the Lion has died from heart failure during a dental visit today.

Zoo spokeswoman Danielle Henry said the lion went into cardiac arrest during the “routine procedure.”

“The dental work followed on from a dental check earlier this year that revealed he had two fractured teeth, it was supposed to be a stable procedure,” she said.

“The ABC was filming it, Mandela went into cardiac arrest and our emergency response team brought him back twice before he passed.

“He was 15 years old, which is quite old and if he was in the wild then he wouldn’t be alive.

“We did a full health examination while he was sedated and it didn’t reveal any problems.”

Ms Henry said the employees at the zoo were in mourning following Mandela’s death.

“The team will do a post-mortem this afternoon but this has come out of the blue for us,” she said.

The death follows the loss of Mandela’s brother Nelson, who succumbed to pneumonia in April.

“It means we just have the lioness Shinyanga left, she was born in 1999 so she’s a bit older than the other two,” she said.

“Obviously this has just happened so we won’t rush to any decision about what happens with her.”