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Lions Return to L.A. Zoo With Arrival of Hubert and Kalisa

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

After a year and a half with no lions, the Los Angeles Zoo this week got a new “king and queen” with the introduction of two new big cats.


African lions Hubert and Kalisa were introduced to their new home at L.A. Zoo on March 25, 2014. (Credit: Tad Motoyama via L.A. Zoo)

The pair — 15-year-old African lions Hubert and Kalisa — were expected to make their debut before news media on Friday morning. They were first introduced to their new habitat on Tuesday, according to the zoo.

The two have been companions for nearly six years and come to the Griffith Park institution from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the L.A. Zoo stated in a news release.

The zoo’s last lion resident, Cookie, died in 2012 at age 23, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“Guests are always asking us where the lions are,” said Jennie Becker, curator of mammals, in a news release. “We’re very happy this pair became available, and we think people are going to be excited that we are able to have lions in the Zoo again. Hubert and Kalisa seem to be very comfortable so far and really are a magnificent sight.”

Renovations have been made to the zoo’s lion habitat in preparation for the arrival of Hubert and Kalisa, according to the news release, which joked that the big cats were the “new power couple in town.”

Lion roars can be heard throughout the park when the zoo’s lion exhibit is occupied, according to the news release.

Note: The zoo originally stated the couple had been together for 10 years, but later corrected that figure to nearly six years. The post has been updated.