LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A lion that came to the Lion Habitat Ranch from the original lion exhibit at the MGM Grand Hotel has died.
“Bentley,” a 16-year-old male lion, had been lethargic and the ranch’s veterinarian had determined that he was anemic. But a diagnosis of aplastic anemia, cancer and leukemia didn’t come until after Bentley died.
Keith Evans, president of Lion Habitat Ranch, Inc., confirmed Bentley’s death over the phone on Tuesday.
“He was the first lion you saw when entering the ranch. He would sit on the back of the Land Rover so guests could take pictures with him,” Evans said. “His brother Swifty is now in that location.”
According to a Facebook post by the ranch, “Our entire team is heartbroken by the loss of Bentley.”
At 16 years, Bentley was “geriatric,” according to the ranch. He was one of the lions that came from the MGM Hotel when the exhibit was shut down at the end of 2011. The $9 million exhibit was a popular tourist attraction on the Strip that had 20 lions that were in a rotation for public view.
“Lions in human care can live to their late teens and early twenties. Lions in the wild are lucky to live into their early teens.”
The ranch posted: “We empathize with the many of you who had wonderful memories and moments with Bentley. Bentley will continue to hold a special place in all of our hearts and we thank you all for your continued support.”
The ranch is at 382 Bruner Ave. in Henderson, just east of St. Rose Parkway and Interstate 15.