One of the favorite animal attractions at the Riverside Discovery Center has passed away.
Officials say Apollo, a 20-year old male lion, has died from cancer and age-related kidney disease.
Apollo was born in 2000 at the Erie Zoo in Erie, Pennsylvania. Apollo and his brother Zeus came to Riverside in 2001 and were very popular with guests and staff. Zeus passed away in 2015 from heart complications.
“The staff are deeply saddened by the loss of Apollo. He had an outsized personality that made him a favorite of many. He was an incredible gift while we had him and will be missed.” Anthony Mason, Executive Director of Riverside Discovery Center. In the near term, the RDC will move Nika, a female Amur tiger,into the exhibit, and Ussuri, a male Amur tiger, will remain in the current tiger exhibit. In the long term, the RDC will bring in new lions as availability allows and based on recommendations from the AZA species survival plan.
The average age of a lion in the wild is 12-15 years and Mason says it is very common for many feline species to develop kidney issues as they get older. Apollo had been receiving medical treatment for various age-related ailments for several years.