Elderly lion Johnny Senior has been given a new lease of life thanks to arthritis drugs.
The well-known resident of Yorkshire Wildlife Park had been finding it very hard to get around recently due to his age, but is now rolling around playing with his sons again.
In the wild, male lions have an average life expectancy of 14 years. They often live a bit older than this in zoos, but Johnny Senior is believed to be a staggering 28 years old.
His muscles and joints have become quite stiff and rickety and his movements have been getting slower in recent months.
Staff at the wildlife park were becoming increasingly concerned for the lion as he was spending most of his days just lying around, so they decided to take some action.
Animal director John Minion and animal manager Simon Marsh took the decision to treat Johnny Senior with Metacam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug recommended by vets for the treatment of arthritis in cats and dogs. It works by relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Soon after treatment began, the lion was seen wrestling with his sons Dani and Simba.
A spokesman for the park said: “We are not sure how many more years or even months Johnny Senior has left in him but ensuring that the remainder of his life is spent in comfort is an absolute priority for everyone here at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
“Clearly the Metacam has worked wonders on Johnny Senior and guests and staff are delighted to see him get his bounce back!”