Monday, February 06, 2006

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Just a sad note about a longtime "friend" of the Songbird family. Bruno, king of the Houston Zoo, passed away last month after veterinarians discovered the 18-year-old lion's kidneys were failing.
In the wild, male African lions may live 10 years. In zoos, male African lions live on average approximately 13 years.
Bruno had a long and happy life at the Houston Zoo. He was enjoyed by generations of Zoo guests and we miss his regal presence.
We have been members of and regular visitors to the Houston Zoo for many years, since before our firstborn joined the family. I remember many, many visits in which the kids and I would sit for what seemed hours watching the languid Bruno perched regally atop the mesa-like rocks of the lion exhibit, or following him in awe as he stalked around the enclosure. I remember when the cubs were born and then first allowed into the viewing area, at first with father Bruno kept separated, then later as he lay patiently in the shade while they climbed over his back and head or swatted playfully at his long, tufted tail.

Our family has grown up as Bruno and his family have done the same, and it is sad hearing that he is gone.

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


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