Nyack, the 1 0-year-old African Lion. (Indianapolis Zoo) It was hardly a surprise to hear the mighty noise of a…
It was hardly a surprise to hear the mighty noise of a lion at the Indianapolis Zoo. The chance was that it was only Nyack, the zoo’s “very so-called” 10-year-old male African lion.
But a “unusual amount of mourning” last week led the zoo’s animal welfare staff to hurry to the open-air farm and investigate
Nyack was locked in a tough fight with Zuri, a 12-year-old lioness and his child’s mother-and he lost.
“She had Nyack at the neck,” said the animal school, David Hagan, to Reuters, describing the October 15 attack. Attempts were made to distinguish the pair, but Zuri continued until Nyack stopped moving, Hagan said. An necropsy revealed that the lion had died of suffocation due to damage to the neck, said the release.
The sudden attack that occurred before the zoo was open to the public, left staff and clerk experts confused: Why would a woman Lejonattack a man she not only knew but who also bred her kids?
A definite reason can never be known, but Craig Packer, lead researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Lion Center, told the Washington Post that Nyack’s death could be linked to his “unusual relationship” with Zuri.
“She obviously dominated him forever they were together,” says Packer, who has studied extensive lions in Serengeti. “That in itself is almost incredible.”
He added: “I have never heard of a woman who dominates a male ever.”
For eight years, Nyack and Zuri collaborated without incident and had “done really well together,” said Hagan WIBC. Before Monday’s attack, the zoo’s “detailed daily stockpiles … did not report any unusual aggression, injuries or wounds between Zuri and Nyack,” said the publication. “19659012” We do not know what the forerunner of the match was, Sade Hagan to WIBC.
In a Facebook post announcing Nyack’s death on Friday, the zoo wrote that it will conduct a “thorough review to try and understand what might have led to this.” Zuri and her three kids, one of
Zuri will be left in the zoo, according to the release. There are no current plans to change how the lions are handled, said zoo officials  Part of the zoo’s attempt to find out what happened included Call Packer, who described the attack as “surprising” and “so unexpected.”
“They called me because they were puzzled and I agree that it’s puzzling,” Packer said. He added the attacks: “It was completely upset d and it was really not typical.”
Zuri Killing Nyack is bizarre for two reasons, Packer said: He was her kids, and she engaged him one-on-one.
Although the details of the incident are shocking, female lions attacking men are not uncommon. In September, video films showed a lioness package attacking a male lion at the West Midlands Safari Park in England, reported the BBC. The lion that survived was introduced in pride last year, according to the BBC.
In the wild, Packer said, he has also observed that women attack a nomadic man, but only in an attempt to chase “strange” lions and protect their kids. They can try to hurt the cock, but the intention is not to kill, he said.
Sukari, the lion’s 3 year old daughter, was in the hood during the attack. Zuri is described as an “attentive and protective mother” who usually keeps an eye on her kids, according to the zoo. But Packer said that Sukari did not appear to be “risked from anything”.
The event, Packer said, may be due to the “unusual combination” of a “gentle man” and an “almighty woman”.  “I usually do not associate this kind of personality with a female lion,” he said. “The fact that it’s developed at all is fascinating.”
Nyack is described by the zoo as “relaxed”. Zuri, however, was “big and very dominant”, according to Packer. According to the zoo, Zuri weighs only 25 pounds less than Nyack.