SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An African lioness triplet that lived most of her nearly 18 years at an upstate New York zoo has died.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse says Kierha the lioness died Sunday but the cause of her death hasn’t been determined. It says Kierha had recently been anesthetized for examination and testing “after showing signs of health issues common to elderly female felines.”

The average lifespan of a lion in captivity is 17 years.

Kierha and siblings Mindine and Joshua were born in April 2000 at the Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana and arrived in Syracuse as 8-month-old cubs.

Mindine died in 2015, and Joshua died the next year. The Syracuse zoo acquired a male lion from the Bronx Zoo two years ago as a companion for Kierha.


This story has been corrected to show the lioness was 17 years old, not 18.