PITTSBORO, N.C. — Sheba the lion overheated and died during last week’s heatwave, according to a Carolina Tiger Rescue Facebook post.
Staff acted at the first sign of distress and worked for over a day running IV fluids and other supplemental therapies.
The sanctuary in Pittsboro says keeper staff managed to cool Sheba down and stabilize her, but the 17-year-old lion’s kidney and liver began to fail the next day, forcing them to “make the heartbreaking decision to let her go,” the post says.
Sheba was the matriarch of a pride of three lions that came to the CTR from Texas.
They say she always kept two other lions in line, Sebastian and Tarzan, and she had great confidence and leadership with her pride.
She wasn’t afraid when she first arrived at the CTR and spent time walking around when she got there, sniffed every corner and stood on her hind feet to check out the roof.
The post says Sheba stands out as the epitome of what it means to be a lion: strong, confident and smart.