Washington D.C. [US], Aug 2 (ANI): Two African lions Hubert and Kalisa, both 21 years-old and long time companions at the LA Zoo were humanely euthanized due to age-related illness.

CNN reported that the duo spent many years together, never having cubs with each other but companions nonetheless. However, their partnership came to end on Thursday after the Los Angeles zoo made the decision to humanely euthanize the two.

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"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," Denise Verret, director of the L.A. Zoo, was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Their longevity is truly a testament to the level of expert care our veterinary and animal care teams provide for our elderly animals. These lions will remain a positive part of our history, and they will be greatly missed" the Zoo director said.

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According to the zoo, the average life expectancy for African lions, whose population in the wild is estimated between 23,000 to 39,000, is mid-teens in the wild, whereas in captivity is 17 years.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the animals as "vulnerable" because of "human-wildlife conflict, prey depletion, the illegal trade of lion body parts for traditional medicine, trophy hunting, and disease," the zoo said. (ANI)

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