Lion ‘recovering well’ after losing part of tail

Oregon Zoo lion's tail was caught under a hydraulic door

Male lion Zawadi Mungu in Predators of the Serengeti. (© Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham.)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Zoo’s only male lion, Zawadi Mungu, is recovering after his tail was caught under a hydraulic door, zoo officials said.

Zawadi was walking into a training area from the outdoor portion of his Predators of the Serengeti habitat when his tail got caught beneath a closing hydraulic door.

Animal caretakers immediately reversed the door and called Zawadi back towards them. They kept him in a holding area while they assessed his injuries.

Zoo veterinarian Tim Storms says Zawadi lost the tip of his tail just above the tuft.

“For a 450-pound lion, that’s a relatively small injury, but we are treating it seriously,” Storms said in a press release. “After a brief medical procedure, he is recovering well.”

Storms said Zawadi is expected to heal without any complications. He wanted to stay in his training area and eat meatballs after the incident, which was reassuring.

Now zoo curators say changes will be made to ensure nothing like this happens again. The hydraulic gate will be left open until the enclosure is inspected.

“You always feel badly when an animal you care for is hurt,” curator Michael Illig said. “We’ll be reviewing all the details of the situation — from the building to the mechanics to our protocols — in order to make sure this cannot happen again.”

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