Elderly Lion Couple Put To Sleep At Same Time So Neither Has To Live Alone

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A pair of elderly lions that resided at the LA Zoo were major attractions for people across the globe. Sadly, as their health rapidly declined, the zoo made the tough decision to euthanize them both.

Both Hubert and Kalisa’s health was rapidly declining as was their quality of life, due to their old age. The couple were inseparable and the zoo feared that if they were to put one of the lions to rest, the other would live a sick, unhealthy life of heartbreak and agony.

The average lifespan for lions is between 15 and 17, but Hubert and Kalisa were much older.

They were both 21-years-old.

Beth Schaefer, a spokesperson for LA Zoo, told the Los Angeles Times:

These lions were charismatic both together as partners and separately, but they were hardly ever apart from one another. Their undivided attention was always on the other as they rested together, cuddled and nuzzled often.

CEO and zoo director Denise Verret also made an emotional statement, saying:

These affectionate companions came to the LA Zoo six years ago, and they quickly charmed themselves into our hearts as we observed their magnificent beauty and unique bond. So, while it is truly heart-wrenching that we had to say goodbye to this iconic pair, we can take comfort in knowing they left together. These lions will remain a positive part of our history, and they will be greatly missed.

Verret also said that the lions were an ‘iconic part of the zoo’ and that countless guests have been ‘touched by their companionship’.

Workers at the zoo expressed their sadness at the loss of the lion couple.

Alisa Behar, who works as the zoo’s animal curator, said:

In the early mornings, staff would routinely hear Hubert’s waking roars, and I will personally miss hearing them on my walks around the grounds.

She added:

You cannot think of Hubert without thinking of his companion, Kalisa; they’ve been an inseparable couple for years.