Inseparable elderly lions Hubert and Kalisa put down together so that neither has to live alone(4 photo)

The long-term partners had been together for 21 years and had survived considerably beyond their regular 14 to 17-year lifespan.

In 2020, the enduring love affair between Hubert and Kalisa came to an end. Due to deteriorating health and age-related ailments that are reported to have decreased their quality of life, the inseparable pair of African lions who had established themselves as a beloved fixture of the Los Angeles Zoo were both put to death. According to a statement from the zoo, the longtime friends, who were both 21 years old, had considerably beyond their average lifespan of 14 to 17 years. While admirers lamented the passing of the gorgeous cats, many found solace in the fact that they didn't have to live apart from one another.

"We have to break the sad news that Hubert and Kalisa, a couple of African lions, have passed away. Due to their deteriorating health and ailments associated with old age that had reduced their quality of life, animal care and health personnel today took the tough choice to humanely euthanize the 21-year-old lions "Social media users were informed by the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Denise Verret, CEO and zoo director of the LA Zoo, said "Hubert and Kalisa are an iconic element of the LA Zoo experience, and our employees and guests have been affected by their loving relationship." The LA Zoo welcomed these devoted partners six years ago, and when we witnessed their extraordinary beauty and special relationship, they instantly won our hearts.

It was frequently remarked that Hubert had to be nearby to view Kalisa. "So, even though it is extremely painful that we had to say goodbye to this historic duo, we may find solace in the fact that they traveled together. These lions will go on as a proud chapter in our history and will be sorely missed." Hubert was born on February 7, 1999, in the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, while Kalisa was born on December 26, 1998, at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where the two were first introduced.

Together, they traveled to Los Angeles in 2014, but despite Hubert fathering 10 cubs, Kalisa was the mother of none of his offspring. "Our Zoo community is suffering greatly from this loss. Hubert and Kalisa have been an unbreakable partnership for years, and you cannot think about Hubert without thinking of her "According to a press statement from Alisa Behar, the zoo's curator of mammals. "Staff would frequently hear Hubert's awakening roars in the early mornings, and I for one shall miss hearing them on my walks around the grounds."

"Hubert and Kalisa were regarded as elderly when they transferred from the Woodland Park Zoo, where they had formed their initial relationship, to the LA Zoo in 2014 with an average life expectancy of mid-teens and around 17 years in zoos. They soon won the hearts of both visitors and employees at the LA Zoo and were renowned for their propensity for frequent cuddling and nuzzles "Adding to its statement, the zoo "I have to applaud our animal care and veterinary personnel for the outstanding care they've provided this duo, a couple that survived longer than most lions do in human care and the wild," Verret said in reference to the lions' longevity.

The lions were "charismatic both together as mates and separately," said animal programs director Beth Schaefer in an interview with the LA Times, and "their complete focus was always on the other as they relaxed together, snuggled and nuzzled regularly." The zoo responded to a query on Instagram about why they chose to euthanize Hubert and Kalisa rather than allow them to pass away from old age: "The health of both lions had been deteriorating over the previous few months, with the last two weeks seeing a more pronounced decrease. Animal health personnel had been keeping an eye on Hubert for a while due to his weight loss when they received a recent alarm about Kalisa's mobility declining more quickly."

In the previous month or two, "both lions started losing more weight, and it was obvious that their quality of life was also declining," the statement continued. "The intensity of their social tie has always been evident; it would have been more difficult to euthanize only one of these animals, but thankfully this decision did not have to be taken because both lions had health concerns."
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