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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Just like many animals, a lioness at Zoo Miami went under the knife to be spayed.

Lioness gets spayed at Zoo Miami on April 16, 2018. (Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

“Kashifa” is an 8-year-old lioness.

She was spayed Monday at Zoo Miami’s Veterinary Hospital in accordance with a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation to avoid over-representation of Kashifa’s genetic line.

Kashifa has given birth to 3 male and 2 female cubs, all of which but one have been transferred to other facilities.


While she was immobilized for the procedure, the veterinary team took blood and examined her teeth. She also received an eye exam to make sure she wasn’t developing any eye complications such as cataracts.

Lioness gets spayed at Zoo Miami on April 16, 2018. (Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

The procedure was completed without complications and Kashifa is expected to make a full recovery.

Birth control programs are an important component of all husbandry programs.  Accredited zoos such as Zoo Miami have a responsibility to insure that births are carefully planned and that those offspring are placed in recognized breeding programs designed to help preserve and protect the species being represented.  Sterilization such as spaying and neutering is utilized when a particular animal’s bloodline is already saturated within the population or there are health issues that present a risk to the offspring or the parents.