Des Moines zoo lion dies at age 16

Officials at a Des Moines zoo say a 16-year-old female lion has died of cancer.

KCCI-TV reported Tuesday that Gavivi died after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2012.

The lion was born in 1997 and came to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines in 1999.

Gavivi stood out to visitors because she was missing a portion of her tail.

Animal supervisor Bonnie VanEllen called the lion a “very loving creature that will be missed dearly.”

Zoo chief executive officer Mark Vukovich says the zoo will acquire another lion of breeding age.