Chicken-Fried News: Lioness intrigue 

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Outside of the case of the congressional tracking device, perhaps the biggest mystery to Chicken-Fried News has to be the case of the lioness Bridget at the Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden that attracted national attention for her unusual mane.

The zoo announced that “The Curious Case of Bridget’s Mane” was solved late last week in a video message by Jennifer D’Agostino, director of veterinary services for the zoo.
Scientists thought the mane was linked to Bridget’s testosterone levels, so they compared her samples (taken from her tail while she was conscious) to her sister Tia and found that they were nearly identical.

The difference came in two other hormones: cortisol and androstenedione, which are both produced in the adrenal gland. D’Agostino said on the broadcast that the staff believes Bridget might have developed a small benign tumor on the gland, which led to an overproduction of the two hormones.

In particular, androstenedione is a precursor to testosterone and is responsible for producing male traits. You might remember it by the name “andro” when it was a supplement used by Major League Baseball (MLB) player Mark McGwire when he shattered the single-season home run record in 1998.

That’s right; the same hormone that helped McGwire get a performance-enhancing boost that stained his legacy and left him out of the Hall of Fame also turned Bridget into an Internet celebrity. News of Bridget’s mane has traveled around the globe, and even The Washington Post has dutifully reported on her condition.

D’Agostino said that the staff will continue to monitor the 18-year-old lioness’ hormone levels but she doesn’t expect Bridget’s mane to get much larger and it hasn’t affected her behavior or overall health.
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Speaking of Oklahoma City Zoological Park And Botanical Garden, Jennifer D’Agostino

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