Lion at John Ball Zoo dies after battle with cancer

A courtesy photo of Bakari.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — John Ball Zoo announced Tuesday that its 12-year-old African lion died after a fight with cancer.

Bakari was diagnosed with lymphoma at the end of last year and received 15 weeks of chemotherapy for treatment. The zoo said there was no evidence of cancer, the initial mass in her neck was gone and her lymph nodes were back to normal in follow-up exams.

On Monday, Bakari’s health took a sudden downturn and she passed away.

An official cause of death hasn’t been determined, but zoo officials believe her cancer returned and caused her unexpected passing.

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