A lion on loan from the San Diego Zoo died in a fight with another lion at the Indianapolis Zoo on Monday, zoo officials said.
According to the zoo, Nyack, a 10-year-old lion, was killed by his longtime mate, Zuri, in the outdoor yard Monday morning before the menagerie opened to the public.
Zookeepers went to check on the lions in the enclosure after hearing an unusual amount of roaring when they saw Zuri fighting with Nyack. Zookeepers tried to separate the two, but the lioness held on to Nyack’s neck until he stopped moving.
A necropsy confirmed Nyack died of suffocation from injuries to the neck, according to the Indianapolis Zoo.
Nyack came to the Indianapolis Zoo from the San Diego Zoo in 2015 as part of the Species Survival Program. Together with Zuri, they produced a litter of three cubs. Their 3-year-old daughter, Sukari, was in the outdoor yard at the time of the incident. She was not hurt.
According to zoo officials, there were no reports of unusual aggression, injuries or wounds between Zuri and Nyack before Monday’s incident.
An investigation was underway to find out what happened.
The zoo said it has no plans at this time to change how the lions are managed and Zuri will remain in her female pair group with her daughter.