It's with heavy hearts that we report that the John Ball Zoo's beloved 12-year-old female African lion, Bakari, has died.

The zoo took to Facebook Tuesday morning to announce the passing of Bakari, who was a favorite of both staff and patrons of the zoo.

Last year it was announced that Bakari had been diagnosed with cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy, it was thought that Bakari was on the road to recovery. Sadly, according to the zoo, Bakari fell ill on Monday, April 1, 2019 and passed away. While a final determination of her death has not yet been discovered, zoo staff believe that her cancer aggressively returned.

Bakari came to the John Ball Zoo back in 2008 along with her sister, Abena.