TYLER (KYTX) - Caldwell Zoo is now without two of its most regal residents. In December of 1990, two young lionesses came to the zoo from the Gladys Potter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.
Sisters, Snarla and Darla, were born February 18, 1990. In 2005, Snarla underwent a complete mastectomy when it was discovered that she had cancer. She lived six years after that surgery before her death at almost 22 years of age. Darla had recently been seen having difficulty breathing. She died December 31st. Her necropsy revealed numerous growths throughout her body. The zoo will have to wait for pathology reports before knowing her exact cause of death. At just about 23 years of age, Darla was one of the oldest African lionesses in any AZA facility.
Both of these cats will be missed by zoo staff and visitors. It is gratifying to know that Snarla and Darla were able to live lives well beyond the usual life expectancy of a lion because of the excellent care provided by the zoo's animal staff.
Darla's son Leo will be 20-years-old in May. He was born at Caldwell Zoo in May of 1993.
At this time, the Caldwell Zoo is planning to bring a couple young lions to the zoo. KYTX CBS 19 will keep you posted.