Djembe, one of Wellington Zoo’s 17-year-old Lionesses was euthanised today after her health recently deteriorated due to age-related concerns.


Djembe at Wellington Zoo

The Zoo’s Animal Care and Veterinary teams had been monitoring Djembe’s health closely over the last month, as she had become disinterested in her food and increasingly lethargic. Djembe had a health check earlier this month, however the results from this procedure were inconclusive.

In the last week, Djembe’s health had continued to decline and her quality of life was compromised. The welfare of our animals is of utmost importance to us, so the decision to euthanise Djembe was made.

Djembe will be greatly missed by her carers and Zoo staff. She has been an amazing ambassador for Wellington Zoo and her species by lifting the profile of Lions and their decline in the wild. 

Djembe’s sisters, Djane and Zahra live at Wellington Zoo and will be turning 18-years-old next month.


More information

In the wild, Lions are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to human animal conflict. Through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund, the Zoo supports local and global conservation projects to save wildlife and wild places. 10% from every Zoo Close Encounter and Zoo Crew membership goes directly to the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund.