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Patti, Celesto and Boris, Houston Zoo Lions

Patti, Celesto and Boris play at the Houston Zoo in 1990. Celesto, center, was euthanized Friday following two years of kidney complications.

(Credit: Houston Zoo)

Houston Zoo staff euthanized a 22-year-old African lioness, Celesto, who was born at the facility in 1990. Celesto had been sick for about two years. She was euthanized Friday morning after a decline in kidney functioning.

Veterinarians saw a drop in her quality of life. Zoo spokesman Brain Hill says she is being remembered with fondness:

Celesto was born at the Houston Zoo in 1990. Her mother and father, Kili and Bruno, had been seized by sheriff’s deputies and federal agents during a search for illegal drugs at a Kansas farm in 1988. A third lion, Lindi, was also seized in that raid.

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