ZOOKEEPERS who rescued a pride of lions from squalid conditions a Romanian zoo and brought them to Yorkshire yesterday said the eldest of the group had died.
The 30-year-old animal, called Johnny Senior by staff, had been living at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster, after arriving in the country in February 2010.
A national fundraising campaign had been mounted to rescue him and 12 other lions from Oradea zoo in north-western Romania where they had been kept in cramped concrete cells.
Park director John Minion John Minion said: “We are all deeply saddened. His presence at the Park will be greatly missed. He was a real one- off and a fantastic leader of his pride.
“After spending most of his life in terrible conditions, at least Johnny Senior spent his final years in the surroundings that he deserved.”