The couple had been together for 21 years, which was much longer than their normal 14–17-year lifespan.
In 2020, Hubert and Kalisa broke up after being together for a long time. The two African lions who were always together at the Los Angeles Zoo were put to death because their health was getting worse and they were getting older-related illnesses, making their lives less enjoyable. A statement from the zoo said that the two close friends, who were both 21 years old, had lived much longer than the average 14–17 years. Even though people were sad that the beautiful cats had died, many took comfort in the fact that they didn’t have to live apart.
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. pic.twitter.com/LsAyyMRYHP
— Los Angeles Zoo (@LAZoo) July 30, 2020
“We’re sorry to have to tell you that Hubert and Kalisa, two African lions, have died. Animal care and health workers had to make the hard decision today to put down the 21-year-old lions in a gentle way because their health was getting worse and they were getting sick from old age.The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens told people about it on social media. The CEO and zoo head of the LA Zoo, Denise Verret, said, “Hubert and Kalisa are an iconic part of the LA Zoo experience, and their love has affected both our staff and our visitors.” Six years ago, these loyal partners moved into the LA Zoo. When we saw how beautiful they were and how special their relationship was, we immediately fell in love with them.
People often said that Hubert had to be close by to see Kalisa. “So, even though it hurts a lot to say goodbye to this famous pair, we can take comfort in the fact that they went together. These lions will always be a proud part of our past, and we will miss them very much. Hubert was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on February 7, 1999. Kalisa was born at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on December 26, 1998. This is where Hubert and Kalisa met for the first time.
In 2014, they went to Los Angeles together, but even though Hubert had 10 kids, Kalisa wasn’t the mother of any of them. “This loss has hit our Zoo community very hard. Hubert and Kalisa have been inseparable for years. When you think of Hubert, you can’t help but think of her.Alisa Behar, who is in charge of mammals at the zoo, said so in a news release. “Hubert’s roars would often wake up the staff in the early morning, and I will miss hearing them as I walk around the grounds.”
“Hubert and Kalisa were considered old when they moved from the Woodland Park Zoo, where they met, to the LA Zoo in 2014. The normal life expectancy for zoo animals is in their mid-teens, and around 17 years. They quickly won the hearts of tourists and staff at the LA Zoo, and they were known for liking to cuddle and kiss a lot.In addition to the zoo’s statement, Verret said, “I have to praise our animal care and veterinary staff for the excellent care they gave this couple, which lived longer than most lions do in human care and in the wild.”
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 in 2014. pic.twitter.com/576oEfAGbt
— Los Angeles Zoo (@LAZoo) July 30, 2020
In an interview with the LA Times, Beth Schaefer, who is in charge of animal programs, said that the lions were “charismatic both together as mates and separately,” and that “their full focus was always on the other as they relaxed together, snuggled, and nuzzled regularly.” The zoo replied to a question on Instagram about why they killed Hubert and Kalisa instead of letting them die of old age: “The health of both lions had been getting worse over the past few months, and it got worse over the last two weeks.” Animal health workers had been keeping an eye on Hubert’s weight loss for a while. Recently, they got a warning that Kalisa’s movement was getting worse more quickly.
In the last month or two, “both lions started losing more weight, and it was clear that their quality of life was also going down,” the statement said. “Their strong social bond has always been clear. It would have been harder to put down only one of these animals, but since both lions were sick, this decision did not have to be made.”