A LION brought to Doncaster in a rescue mission from a rundown Romanian zoo has died today.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton has confirmed the death of Johnny Senior who was aged 30.
He was oldest of the pride of 13 big cats brought to the park in Warning Tongue Lane in February 2010 from Oradea Zoo.
Park bosses said his health had gradually declined to a level where his quality of life was unacceptable. Park directors in consultation with the vets decided to put him down.
John Minion, director of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Johnny.
“His presence at the park will be greatly missed. He was a real one- off and a fantastic leader of his pride.
“After spending most of his life in the terrible conditions at Oradea Zoo, at least Johnny Senior spent his final years in the surroundings that he deserved at YWP.
“Johnny Senior arrived at the park two and a half years ago in a terrible state and I would like to thank all our staff and vets for their tremendous efforts to provide him with love and a pain free life that he so desperately deserved.”
Johnny Senior was father to three-year-old twins Dani and Simba.
The 13 lions were brought to Doncaster after generous folk raised £150,000 for a rescue mission.