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Elderly Lion Couple Put To Sleep Together So Neither Has To Live Alone

This is the heartbreaking story of how an elderly lion couple were put to sleep together so that neither of them had to live alone.

The couple, Hubert and Kalisa, were an iconic duo who blew the minds of countless visitors to LA Zoo.

Visitors were amazed at how loyal and inseparable the couple were. However, while they lived a long and healthy life, old age was beginning to settle in.

Image Credit: LA Zoo

The average lifespan for a lion is between the ages of 15-17 and both Kalisa and Hubert were 21 and their health was beginning to decline.

Zoo workers realised that they had to euthanize the lions to prevent them from dying a painful death but they couldn’t separate the pair, so decided to put them to sleep together.

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.

It was often said, you don’t see Kalisa without Hubert being close by.

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.

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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of our African lion pair, Hubert and Kalisa. Animal care and health staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the 21-year-old lions today due to their declining health and age-related illnesses that had diminished their quality of life. “Hubert and Kalisa are an iconic part of the L.A. Zoo experience, and our staff and guests have been touched by their loyal companionship,” said CEO & Zoo Director Denise Verret. “These affectionate companions came to the L.A. Zoo six years ago, and they quickly charmed themselves into our hearts as we observed their magnificent beauty and unique bond. It was often said, you don’t see Kalisa without Hubert being close by. 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.” With an average life expectancy of mid-teens and about 17 years in Zoos, Hubert and Kalisa were considered elderly when they arrived at the L.A. Zoo in 2014 from the Woodland Park Zoo, where they had first bonded. They quickly became favorites among L.A. Zoo guests and staff and were known for their frequent cuddles and nuzzles. “I have to commend our animal care and veterinary staff for the great care they’ve given this pair, a couple who lived longer than most lions do in human care and the wild.” Please join us in honoring Hubert and Kalisa and their legacy by sharing some of your favorite memories of them here or by tagging LA Zoo.

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So tragic.

Rest in peace Hubert and Kalisa.

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