Bristol Zoo Gardens’ lion has died, the venue has announced.
Ketan, who was one of the most popular attractions at the zoo, fell ill 10 days ago and had to be put to sleep.
A statement from the zoo said: “It is with sadness that today we have to announce the death of our lion, Ketan, who had to be put to sleep after a short illness.
“Ketan was born at Bristol Zoo Gardens in 2012 and was hand-reared along with his twin brother, Kamran, after their mother failed to look after them.
“Ten days ago he became unwell and his condition deteriorated quickly. Our vets gave him a thorough examination under general anaesthesia, followed by a detailed scan which showed he had fluid in his chest due to a severe infection.
“Despite a series of procedures to drain the fluid and treat the infection it continued to build up and put considerable pressure on his heart.
“In the light of this our vets took the decision to put Ketan gently to sleep.”
Lynsey Bugg, curator of mammals, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Ketan. He was one of our most popular animals.
“He was quite a relaxed, good-natured lion and because he had been hand-reared he was comfortable around people.
“He was always inquisitive about what was going on around him. We are all heartbroken at the loss of such a magnificent animal.”
His brother Kamran, is now at Tehran Zoo, as part of the continuing European Conservation Breeding programme, to help ensure the future of Asiatic lions who are officially listed as threatened.
Bristol Zoo’s lioness, Sonika, who arrived from Cotswold Wildlife Park earlier this month, has settled in well and will remain at the zoo.