BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A 16-year-old male African lion at the Birmingham Zoo died Tuesday after being diagnosed with lymphoma.

The Birmingham Zoo and its staff had been closely monitoring and treating the animal for age-related health issues, including kidney disease.  

A statement from the zoo said an outside laboratory confirmed the presence of lymphoma, a common cancer in domestic cats that also has been seen in large cats like lions and tigers.

Earlier this month, Kwanza was treated with a combination of chemotherapeutic drugs and oral steroids in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.

The zoo said the animal initially responded to medical treatment but then his appetite decreased and the difficult decision was made to euthanize him.