By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 26-year-old lioness, described as the matriarch of Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, has died.

The lioness, named Shanti Deva, had been at the sanctuary since 2006. She was being auctioned off when the Catskill game farm in New York closed, and an animal watchdog group intervened to make sure she was brought to the Wildcat Sanctuary.

She is described as the alpha leader, talkative, and adventurous.

Credit: Wildcat Sanctuary

“Shanti Deva touched the hearts of everyone who knew her. She was adored by our caregivers, staff, interns and donors as well as the millions of people who followed her life and story on our social media pages,” said Founder and Executive Director of the Wildcat Sanctuary Tammy Thies.

At 26, Shanti Deva was one of the oldest cats to live at the sanctuary.