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Lion Named "Nyack" Killed In Fight With Female Lion At Indianapolis Zoo

Zoo personnel say they don't know what caused the fight to happen and promise a thorough review of the incident

INDIANAPOLIS -- A male lion is dead at the Indianapolis Zoo after getting into a fight with another lion.

Zoo curator David Hagen said workers at the zoo heard an unusual amount of roaring coming from the the lion enclosure Monday. When zookeepers arrived, they saw a 10-year-old male lion named Nyack in a nasty fight with a lioness named Zuri. 

"We don't know what the precursor to the fight was," said Hagen. "They had been together for eight years and during that time that had done really well together." 

The two lions got along so well that they had three cubs together in 2015. Hagen said zoo workers made every attempt to try to separate the lions but  but Zuri held Nyack by the neck until he stopped moving. 

"The staff is devastated by the loss," Hagen said. "He was a friendly, playful lion and he will be greatly missed."

A thorough review will be conducted to attempt to understand what might have led to this incident.

In the meantime, Nyack will be necropsied and his body cremated; an examination showed he died from suffocation.

Zuri and her daughter Sukari will remain at the zoo. 

(PHOTO: Courtesy of the Indianapolis Zoo)

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