Two African lions, known for delighting visitors with their booming roars, have died from age-related health problems at zoos in California this week, officials said.
Jahari, a popular 16-year-old male, died Monday of old age, the San Francisco Zoo announced Wednesday.
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“Jahari was a favorite among guests and staff alike and will be remembered for his refined temperament and his bellowing roar that could be heard from every corner of the Zoo,” the San Francisco Zoo said in a statement.
He was born at the zoo in 2003 and raised by the staff after his mother died shortly after giving birth. Jahari leaves behind his mate, Sukari, and their male offspring, Jasiri.
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Meanwhile, the San Diego Zoo announced that a 15-year-old male lion named M’bari was euthanized Wednesday after a recent decline in health from old age.
“M’bari was a well-known resident of the San Diego Zoo … His early morning and late afternoon roars could be heard throughout the entire zoo,” zoo officials said in a statement.
M’bari and his mate, Etosha, came to the zoo in 2009.
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Lions are classified as a vulnerable species. The animals can live into their early 20s in captivity, while in the wild males rarely live past the age of 12, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo.
Wild lions are mostly found in Africa today. Along with a small Asian subspecies, the animals number 23,000 to 39,000 in the wild, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.