El Paso Zoo recognizes The Hospitals of Providence for help in diagnosing Rudo the Lion

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Rudo the Lion THOP Radilology team

On Thursday, the El Paso Zoo thanked the Radiology team at The Hospitals of Providence for their help in diagnosing Rudo, which then helped the Zoo determine a course of action for the lion.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In August, the El Paso Zoo’s 7-year-old male African lion, Rudo, died after staff discovered an inoperable severe inflammatory spinal cord lesion in his neck.

On Thursday, the El Paso Zoo thanked the Radiology team at The Hospitals of Providence for their help in diagnosing Rudo, which then helped the Zoo determine a course of action for the lion.

Zoo staff presented the Radiology team with a framed photo of Rudo, as well as a paw print, to show their appreciation.

After getting a few nos, the El Paso Zoo found help from The Hospital of Providence’s Radiology team, seen here giving Rudo the Lion an MRI in August.

“We were recognizing the great efforts and help that the Hospitals of Providence have been for us at the El Paso Zoo in achieving a diagnosis for our very ill male lion, Rudo,” said Victoria Milne, chief veterinarian at the El Paso Zoo. “Unfortunately that diagnosis wasn’t a positive one, but it gave us the information we needed to make the best decisions for him. As far as making an informed decision for him, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

According to the Zoo, several tests, including an MRI performed at THOP, were done over a week to determine what the best course of action was for Rudo. The tests showed Rudo had a severe inflammatory spinal cord lesion in his neck that was inoperable.

Over the week, zookeepers and veterinary staff worked around the clock to make sure Rudo was comfortable and pain-free, and initiated treatments to control the inflammation. Despite these efforts, Rudo’s condition did not improve. 

Rudo arrived at the El Paso Zoo in March 2014 from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Rudo was very shy when first introduced to the female pride here in El Paso.

The priority on arrival was for him to feel at home, and comfortable with the zookeepers that cared for him. Eventually, Rudo and the females bonded well and could be seen together on-exhibit in the Africa section of the zoo.

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