An aging white lion given to the Cincinnati Zoo by performers Siegfried & Roy had to be euthanized because of age-related health issues.
The zoo says Future — one of two male African white lions loaned permanently by Siegfried and Roy in 1998 — was put down Thursday. He was 17 years old and had struggled to walk in recent days.
Mark Campbell, the zoo's director of animal health, says it was the humane thing to do. The average lifespan for lions in North American zoos is nearly 17 years.
Future and his brother, named Sunshine, came to the Cincinnati Zoo when they were 3 months old. They are considered a threatened species.
Siegfried Fishbacher and Roy Horn performed alongside white lions and tigers with their show 'Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino' in Las Vegas from 1990, where it became hugely popular.
In October 2003, Horn was mauled by a seven-year-old white tiger called Mantecore and sustained critically injured. Their Mirage show was forced to close and the pair finally retired from showbusiness in 2010.