The lion reportedly died two weeks ago, though the zoo apparently concealed this while they investigated the cause of death. Provincial environmental authorities recently declared it had died of "natural causes," after an autopsy revealed "a tumor in its spleen."
The death followed public anger about the state of another of the zoo's residents, Arturo, described as the last polar bear in Argentina. While activists have called for it to be sent to Canada, several experts decided in February that the trip would be too onerous and Arturo should remain in the zoo.
According to local animal-rights activist Jennifer Ibarra, nobody has seen Arturo since late April and "reliable sources are telling us he is sick."
The singer Cher, also concerned for Arturo, went further, saying Arturo's conditions amounted to "torture" and the government would have Arturo's blood on its hands should he die. Why isn't Argentina crying for Arturo, she asked on her Twitter account?
A map of the zoo in question — Photo: gonzalemario