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Toronto Zoo lion euthanized over health concerns

Undated handout photo of a male African lion.

Association for the Advancement of Science/AP/Association for the Advancement of Science/AP

The Toronto Zoo's oldest male African lion has died.

The 20-year-old lion named Rowdy was euthanized after old age caused his health to decline over the last year.

In a release announcing his death, the zoo describes Rowdy as the "majestic leader" of the pride, who was "vital and active" for most of his life.

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His zookeepers remember him as a gentle and affectionate creature who loved the smell of cinnamon.

Rowdy's two male sons, who were born in 2000, still live at the zoo.

The zoo says its lion pride provides valuable data for the conservation of the species in the wild and in captivity.

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