LA zoo euthanizes Hubert and Kalisa: Elderly lion couple killed so 'soulmates' don't have to live without each other
A zoo in Los Angeles euthanized an ailing elderly lion couple together on Thursday, July 30, 2020 so that none of them had to live without the other. The couple, often dubbed as soulmates, Hubert and Kalisa, were put to sleep in LA zoo. The African lions were reportedly 21-years-old. African lions reportedly can live into their early teens in the wild and generally to 17-years-old when in captivity.
According to a zoo spokesperson, Beth Schaefer, both the animals were suffering from age-related issues and declining health, which had left the pair living in an increasingly poor quality of life. Although the duo were born in separate zoos in the United States, the pair met each other at Woodland Park and became inseparable.
Hubert, who was born in Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and Kalisa, from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, were later moved to Los Angeles Zoo in 2014, where the pair lived happily which each other until their health began deteriorating.
Schaefer added that the bond between the lions was evident to the visitors. The spokesperson, while talking to the Los Angeles Times, said: "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."
The zoo's curator, Alisa Behar, also released a statement on the couple's demise, saying that losing both of them at the same time was a double-blow for the staff and fans of the animals. "This is a very hard loss for our zoo community," she 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." Hubert, over the course of this life, fathered 10 cubs, however, Kalisa never became a lion mother.