LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Mashaka, a male African lion, has recovered enough that from a spinal lesion that he is able to spend time in the outdoor habitat at Lufkin's Ellen Trout Zoo.
"Be assured that although he walks with difficulty, his spirits have remained good, and he's been very receptive to the care he has received," Gordon Henley, the zoo's director, said in an e-mail. "Mashaka remains under the medical supervision of Dr. Mike Nance, staff veterinarian. As his convalescence progresses, his needs change and are met by the husbandry team."
Henley said Mashaka will be outdoors a few days a week and added that the zoo will continue to closely monitor the lion's progress.
Henley explained that Mashaka has been under constant veterinary care since he suffered a vascular lesion in his spinal cord in late September that left him unable to stand.
The zoo's director said walking is still difficult and slow for the lion. However, he has recovered enough to increase his activity and spend time outdoors.
"The additional activity provides strength building and physical therapy," Henley said.