LA zoo euthanizes Hubert and Kalisa: Elderly lion couple killed so 'soulmates' don't have to live without each other

Although the duo were born in separate zoos in the United States, the pair met each other at Woodland Park and became inseparable.


                            LA zoo euthanizes Hubert and Kalisa: Elderly lion couple killed so 'soulmates' don't have to live without each other
(Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens)

A zoo in Los Angeles euthanized an ailing elderly lion couple together on Thursday, July 30, so that none of them pair 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.

 

(Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens)

 

"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.

The news comes over a month after the heartbreaking story of a mother swam who died grieving her children. A mother swan, in June, died of a "broken heart" after some teenagers smashed her eggs with bricks. The incident reportedly occurred last month in Bolton, Greater Manchester when a group of teenagers killed the unborn cygnets after throwing rocks and bricks at them on May 20.

The mother was found dead shortly after the father swan disappeared. The boys were reportedly seen throwing rocks and bricks at the swan's nest along Manchester Canal in Kearsley.  According to witnesses, the boys were aiming their rocks for the island where the swans had made a nest and smashed three of the six eggs. More eggs were lost in recent weeks, leaving just one surviving egg, wildlife activists who were monitoring the swans said.

The activists also said that the father swan, who appeared stressed by the incident, left the nest nearly two weeks ago and has not returned, while the mother swan has been harassed by moorhens, ducks, and a dog ever since her eggs were attacked. The activists reportedly found the female swan dead in her nest earlier this week.

"There's not much I can say really," activist Sam Woodrow said. "She probably died of a broken heart as she had a partner for life and he was driven away by stress." Swans reportedly die of a broken heart if they lose their partners as they generally mate for life, according to Swan Lifeline. If a swan's mate is killed or disappears, the surviving bird reportedly goes through a similar grieving process as humans.

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