By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami)– Zoo Miami is mourning the loss of their 11-year-old lioness Kashifa.

According to Zoo Miami Communications Director Ron Magill, Kashifa lost mobility in her hind legs while on exhibit on March 4.

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The veterinary team did not immediately find an obvious cause for her paraplegia.  However, an MRI which evaluated her spine and nerve function, discovered she sustained a non-compressive injury to her spinal cord.

Zoo Miami’s Kashifa (Credit: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

Sadly, after nearly 3 weeks of intensive care from the Animal Health and Animal Science teams, Kashifa did not show any improvement in her condition and was not able to feel any deep pain or other sensation in her hind quarters.  After a great deal of consultation and dedicated efforts to provide Kashifa with every possible path to recovery, it was determined that she had sustained a non-recoverable injury and the painfully difficult decision was made to euthanize her on Monday, March 22.

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Kashifa, who was born at the Bronx Zoo in 2010, won the hearts of countless zoo visitors when she gave birth to a litter of 4 cubs in 2014 at Zoo Miami.

Zoo Miami’s Kashifa (Credit: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

Not only was she a great mother to her 4 cubs, she also adopted the orphaned cub of her sister and not only raised him successfully, but often gave him special attention as if she realized the trauma he had been through losing his own mother.

K’wasi has since moved on to Lion Country Safari where he has fathered cubs of his own.

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Magill said Zoo Miami feels privileged to have been the home to this majestic cat and to have seen her cubs grow into beautiful adults themselves.  They will be her legacy.  We are all profoundly saddened by the loss of this magnificent animal.

CBSMiami.com Team