It was a sad day at the Oakland Zoo on Tuesday.
Sandy, an African lioness who lived at the zoo for 16 years, died as a result of inoperable cancer, according to a statement from zoo officials.
Sandy and her brother, Leonard, came to the zoo in 1999 from the Houston SPCA. Before the rescue organization took them in, they had been kept illegally in a house with 14 other exotic animals.
Both cats were starving, dehydrated and riddled with flees, according to a blog post from the zoo.
The zoo reports that Leonard is coping well with the loss, although the two lions very close.
“She will be missed by us all,” the zoo said in the statement.