Bioparc matriarch lioness Sortuda, dies

Sadness as matriarch lioness Sortuda, dies

Sadness as matriarch lioness Sortuda, dies Source:

There is much sadness at the Bioparc in Valencia, after Sortuda the much loved matriarch lioness died on May 10 after 17 long years following her transfer from the Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa.

According to the Bioparc, Sortuda was originally brought to the Bioparc to form a breeding group of the Angolan lion subspecies.

The lioness, who quickly became and has remained the matriarch, was a popular attraction after she grew a mane, much like young males do. Tests later revealed that she had some ovarian cysts that were producing a hormonal change.

This made her more masculine than normal and enabled to her to become the more dominant lioness. Her ovaries were eventually removed, reducing her dominance but not her character.

Sortuda was known for her cohesive role in keeping the pride together and in check, as she was for showing her affection. During her time at the Bioparc she mothered a number of cubs, some who went to other animal parks while two, Tata and Shanga, remained with her.

Together with Luana and Lubango they form the park’s pride of lions.

Staff at the Bioparc noticed that she was bleeding from one of her fangs earlier this year. The tooth was removed, but subsequent x-rays revealed a malignant tumour that was untreatable.

Sortuda remained in good physical condition, but she was eventually euthanized as she was said to be in a lot of pain, despite the medication she was receiving.

Everyone at the Bioparc is beyond themselves with grief, Sortuda having become the pride and joy of the park and with staff having cared for her through her illness.

Valencia’s matriarch lioness Sortuda has gone but her daughters Tata and Shanga remain, who along with the other two lionesses will still make a visit to the Bioparc a worthwhile day out.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at