A pair of ‘inseparable’ of elderly lions have been euthanised together at a zoo.
Hubert and Kalisa, who lived at LA Zoo, were both put to sleep aged 21 after spending six years together.
The pair far exceeded the average life span of a zoo lion, which is between mid-teens and 17.
A spokesperson from the zoo told the Los Angeles Times the African lions were both declining in health and that their age-related problems left them with a poor quality of life.
Hubert was born at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and Kalisa came from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, before the pair first met in Los Angeles Zoo in 2014 and became inseparable.
LA Zoo spokesman Beth Schaefer told the Los Angeles Times: “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 said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
The zoo’s animal curator Alisa Behar said losing two of the zoo’s beloved animals at once had hit the staff hard, calling it a ‘very hard loss for our zoo community’.
She added: “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.
“You cannot think of Hubert without thinking of his companion, Kalisa; they’ve been an inseparable couple for years.”
Hubert had fathered an impressive 10 cubs over his lifetime.
Via lad bible