PITTSBORO, N.C. (CBS Local) — A 17-year-old lion named Sheba overheated and died during last week’s heatwave, according to a rescue group in North Carolina.

Sheba died from kidney and liver failure before staff could cool her down, Carolina Tiger Rescue wrote in a Tuesday Facebook post.

“The staff worked for over 24 hours, including running IV fluids and other supplemental therapies, but her kidney and liver values continued to rise through out the day,” the post read. “After working for so long to try to bring her back, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go.”

A heat wave hit the East Coast over the weekend, bringing with it temperatures above 90 degrees.

Lions typically live 10 to 15 years in the wild, according to a spokeswoman for the sanctuary.

Sheba was originally used as a “Pay-to-Pet” cub in Mexico and was walked up and down the beaches of Cancun on a leash.

When she was about six months old, her owner decided she was too much to handle and she was rescued and sent to the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas. When WAO faced financial trouble, she was sent to the nonprofit cat sanctuary in Pittsboro.

Sheba was described as the matriarch of a pride of three lions that came to the nonprofit cat sanctuary in Pittsboro from Texas about ten years ago. She always kept two other lions, Sebastian and Tarzan, “in line” and stood out “as the epitome of what it means to be a lion – strong, confident, and smart.”

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