CHESTER Zoo is mourning the tragic loss of their five-month-old Asiatic lion cub, Chakra.
Veterinary staff were faced with the difficult decision to put him to sleep on the evening of Friday, January 9.
The cub, born in August 2008, had been diagnosed with a developmental disorder which became more apparent as he grew and became more active.
Chakra was the second cub born to mum Asha and dad Asoka.
Kevin Buley, head of zoo programmes, said: “Chakra’s birth and subsequent bond with his parents was a cause for celebration and understandably there is now a feeling of devastation at this tragic turn of events.
“Initially, we were delighted that Asha and her cub were doing so well and did little to interfere in the bonding process.
“However it became apparent that Chakra was experiencing some difficulties which, despite the best efforts of our veterinary and keeping staff, led to this sad event.”
Kevin also paid tribute to the zoo’s dedicated carnivore team for their part in helping Asha, Asoka and Chakra to unite.
He added: “Our carnivore team, led by team leader Alan Woodward, worked tirelessly to enable the family to successfully bond and their dedication had paid dividends. The team is understandably very upset at Chakra’s death and our sympathies and support are with them.
“Chakra was a very popular addition to the zoo.”