A 15-year-old lion at the Denver Zoo
is undergoing cancer treatment that is the first of it's kind.
Rian, a 15-year-old South African lion, underwent surgery and is receiving chemotherapy for an aggressive cancer originating in his spleen. Veterinarians hope the treatment will extend and improve his quality of life while providing valuable information about how chemotherapy could help other zoo lions and large cats.
"We are very thankful for all the help and expertise CSU doctors continue to provide. Moving forward, this will be a very valuable relationship," said Denver Zoo Staff Veterinarian Dr. Betsy Stringer.
In mid-March, zookeepers noticed Rian acting significantly lethargic, prompting zoo veterinarians to perform a full physical examination, during which tests revealed a large mass in the lion's abdomen.
After exploratory surgery, further testing determined that Rian's spleen grew to that size because it was infiltrated with a type of cancer known as high-grade splenic lymphoma.
[ Denver Zoo
Wishing Rian all the best and a speedy recovery.