Miami-Dade County

Zoo Miami offers behind-the-scenes footage of what it takes to spay a lioness

Zoo Miami spays lioness

“Kashifa,” an eight-year-old lioness was immobilized and spayed at Zoo Miami’s Veterinary Hospital on April 16, 2018.
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“Kashifa,” an eight-year-old lioness was immobilized and spayed at Zoo Miami’s Veterinary Hospital on April 16, 2018.

It's a simple, common procedure to spay a cat.

But when the cat happens to be a lioness, it's a little more complicated.

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Kashifa, an 8-year-old lioness, was spayed Monday at Zoo Miami. The veterinary team also examined her teeth and eyes. Ron Magill Zoo Miami

On Monday, 8-year-old Kashifa, a lioness at Zoo Miami, was immobilized and spayed at Zoo Miami’s Veterinary Hospital.

"Her bloodline is over saturated and it was time for her to stop breeding," said Ron Magill, zoo spokesman.

The zoo, which has two male and two female lions, follows the Species Survival Plan, which recommended the procedure "to avoid over-representation of Kashifa’s genetic line."

Magill said it took a team of doctors to work on Kashifa, who has three male and two female cubs.

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Kashifa, an 8-year-old lioness, was spayed Monday at Zoo Miami. Ron Magill


While she was under anesthesia for the sterilization, the veterinary team took blood and examined her teeth and eyes.

Video taken in the operating room shows the lioness being shaved, hooked up to monitors and being held down so the doctors could work on her.

"I want people to understand the amount of effort and care that goes into these animals," Magill said.

Magill said Tuesday the lioness had already recovered and was back in her enclosure.

Next week, Kashifa's daughter Amira will undergo the same procedure to avoid any inbreeding, Magill said.

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