TULSA, Oklahoma - Kofi, the Tulsa Zoo's male African lion, is dying of kidney disease. The zoo released a statement that the almost 19-year-old lion has started hospice care for the degenerative and fatal disease.

"Kidney failure is a common cause of death in older felids, including domestic house cats," the news release states.

Kofi was diagnosed with renal disease in 2015 during a routine exam. Since then, the animal care staff has had him on a special diet to slow the progression of the disease. 

Dr. Kay Backues, Tulsa Zoo Director of Animal Health, said his appetite - and attitude - are normal, but once his quality of life diminishes, they will make the decision to euthanize him.

Kofi was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1998 and was moved to Tulsa in 2004. Photo of Kofi by Steve Jones.