Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Zoo Mourns Loss of Lioness


mesker zoo
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden lost a friend today.  “Daphne,” a 19-year-old lioness, was humanely euthanized.


“It’s always difficult to make this type of decision, but watching Daphne’s failing health, severe arthritis and recent loss of appetite really let us know that it was her time; we would not let her suffer unnecessarily,” said Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Executive Director Amos Morris.


Veterinary staff and Zookeepers had been monitoring Daphne closely for many months due to her advanced age and indicators that she was nearing the end of her lifespan.  According to Dr. Maria Spriggs, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s Veterinarian, the average lifespan for a female African Lion in captivity is 17-20 years.  She had spent 16 of her 19 years as part of the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden family.


Morris adds, “No decision has been made to replace Daphne.  Today we are just mourning the loss of a beautiful creature.”


Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. We will forge connections between people and the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life.


Established in 1928, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is Indiana’s first zoo.  For more general zoo information, please visit