Colchester Zoo mourns the passing of beautiful Lioness Malika

In what is already a very difficult and hard time, Colchester Zoo are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Lioness Malika at the age of 16yrs old.

Malika’s health deteriorated over a very short period of time, she was becoming very lethargic and keepers noticed a loss of appetite. After close consultation with our International Zoo Vet, different treatments and therapies were recommended but unfortunately, they had less effect than hoped. On 13th October the decision was taken to examine Malika under general anaesthetic, X-rays, ultrasound examinations and bloods were taken to help diagnose Malika’s health condition. Results sadly indicated liver disease. Although Malika recovered from the anaesthetic, the prospect of Malika making a full recovery was slim. Despite this, the Animal Care Team held out hope that Malika would pull through and undergo further medication. Unfortunately, on the morning of 14th October, Malika passed away despite all best efforts taken to help her.

Not only will all the staff at Colchester Zoo miss Malika terribly but she leaves behind her sister Naja and cousin, male lion Bailey. As all 3 were related they were not a breeding group, but they had a strong bond with one another having lived at Colchester Zoo together since 2010 & all coming from the same park previous to this.

Despite Bailey being the dominant male within the pride, Malika was also very much ‘in charge’, she loved her food and would often have first pickings after cheekily stealing from Bailey. Hannah, one of Malika’s keepers said, “Malika was our feisty protective female of the pride who had a big personality and would always protect her sister Naja.” Malika will definitely leave a big hole in the hearts of the Animal Care Team and Lion Rock will not be the same without her.

There is never a good time to say goodbye to an animal who has been part of the family for so many years, it is always a very difficult and sad time, even more so in these unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

The Animal Care Team will be making sure that Bailey and Naja recover from the loss of Malika as well as supporting one another through this sad time.

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