Siegfried & Roy's white lion Legend dies following procedure in Ohio

by Reuters
Saturday, 27 June 2015 21:11 GMT

June 27 (Reuters) - A rare white lion loaned to an Ohio Zoo by Las Vegas magicians Siegfried & Roy has died following a diagnostic procedure, officials said.

The 14-year-old cat, named Legend, suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest on Friday after undergoing a procedure to pinpoint the cause of lameness in his front leg, the Toledo Zoo said in a statement.

"The veterinary staff worked quickly to revive the lion but were ultimately unsuccessful," zoo officials said in their statement.

Legend was one of two white lions on loan to the Toledo Zoo by Siegfried & Roy, who are internationally famous for their magic and animal show, including performances with white tigers and lions.

The snow-white feline's brother, Courage, also 14, will continue to reside at the zoo's Tembo Trail exhibit, the statement said.

The Siegfried & Roy team, based in Las Vegas, was not immediately available for comment on Legend's death.

White lions have a recessive gene that makes their coat very light in color. The cats are extremely rare in the wild and have been victim to poaching in Africa that has left them nearly extinct, according to conservation group White Lions.

The German-born Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig "Roy" Horn, who was severely injured in 2003 by a white tiger that bit him in the neck, last performed publicly in 2009. (Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles, Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Orlofsky)

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