A pair of elderly lions at Los Angeles Zoo have been euthanized at the same time so that neither of them would have to live on without the other.
As per reports, Hubert and Kalisa, considered by staff at the zoo to be soulmates, were both put to sleep having spent six years in each other’s company.
Both big cats reached the grand old age of 21 (15 to 17 is the average for lions at the zoo) and were put to sleep peacefully. The pair had formed a bond after both being transferred to Los Angeles Zoo from different zoos in 2014.
It’s said both Hubert and Kalisa were declining in health and suffering from age-related problems that affected their quality of life.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Beth Schaefer, a spokesperson for LA Zoo, 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.”
CEO and zoo director Denise Verret, meanwhile, described the couple by 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.”
Indeed, I’m sure everyone familiar with the zoo will feel a tremendous sense of loss at the passing of these two great animals. Some consolation can be taken, however, from the fact that they will continue their journey together.
Rest in peace, Hubert and Kalisa. We’re sending love and prayers to the staff at Los Angeles Zoo.
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