10/08/2015 12:09 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

Sick lioness euthanized: Calgary Zoo says goodbye to feline grande dame

CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo has had to say goodbye to one of its big cats.

The zoo says Mbira, a 20-year-old female lion, was euthanized last week due to declining health.

An examination by zoo veterinarians found that her kidneys had failed and cancerous changes in her spleen were spreading to her abdomen.

Mbira came to Calgary from the Aalborg Zoo in Denmark in 1997.

She is survived by her 20-year-old half-sister, Tisha, and two younger males.

The zoo says the median life expectancy for lions in captivity is 16.8 years.