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Tonight's episode of The Zoo just might break your heart...

… Or at least make you cry.

WARNING, SPOILER ALERT!

In tonight’s episode of RTÉ’s The Zoo, Sheila, the 25-year-old African lioness dies of old age.

Sheila was born in Dublin Zoo in 1987 and had lived there all her life. She was the last of a long and distinguished family tree of African lions living in Dublin Zoo stretching back over 125 years.

Gerry Creighton, who was trained to be a lion keeper by his father who also worked with lions for years before him, said it was a day full of emotion:

I remember vividly coming in on the 31 December 1987 and seeing these four cubs snuggled up to a lioness at the zoo, and that was her. That was Sheila being born… I watched her grow up from a cub.

Here is a preview of tonight’s episode:

RTÉ/YouTube

Read: Scientists want to bring 22 animals back from extinction >

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Read: Volunteer killed by lion at California zoo >

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