Ellen Trout Zoo Staffers Mourn the Death of Mashaka
Mashaka, a male African Lion, was born June 13, 2006 at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas and died peacefully April 5, 2022 at the Ellen Trout Zoo surrounded by his keepers.
Mashaka was 1.5 years old when he arrived at the Ellen Trout Zoo from the Cameron Park Zoo. He was a young male sporting a mohawk with his mane in the early stages of development. Zoo visitors witnessed his growth from an awkward adolescent to a magnificent adult male lion. He developed a dark mane and showed some of the characteristics of Atlas lions.
He sired two male cubs at the Ellen Trout Zoo and had three gran-cubs at another zoo from his first offspring. The second, a snow-white cub named Ashur who gained worldwide attention until his coat began turning tan, is still here with Mashaka’s mate Adia. Mashaka was an excellent father, often playing with the cub.
In late September of 2016, Mashaka suffered a vascular lesion on his spinal cord rendering him unable to get up. He recovered from this and was reunited with his young cub. Mashaka had some lasting mobility impairments but continued to live a full life and was a favorite of zoo visitors.
Mashaka’s health began a decline in the recent past and diagnostic tests indicate that he was suffering from kidney and liver failure. A necropsy will be performed to confirm this diagnosis.
His death has left a void in the hearts of those who took care of him and went to any extreme to give him the best care possible. He will be missed by his keepers and the thousands of guests who have visited him over his lifetime.