A lioness named Akili was killed by a male lion when they were introduced to each other at the Birmingham Zoo.
Source: CBS 42/Youtube
The Birmingham Zoo reportedly introduced the male lion, Josh, to Akili in hopes that the animals could become companions after the death of the lioness’ former partner.
On Facebook, the Birmingham Zoo said that their staff is mourning the loss of the beloved African lioness. Akili was born in 2005 at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was moved to Birmingham Zoo in 2007 to mate with African Lion Kwanza, and they had five cubs in 2011.
“When Kwanza died in 2021 we worked with the Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) to identify a new male companion for Akili. Josh arrived in April and the slow, careful process of introductions began.”
However, the animal introduction did not go as anyone anticipated.
“Animal introductions are always risky because wild animals can be unpredictable and we cannot control their interactions,” explains Hollie Colahan, Birmingham Zoo’s Deputy Director and coordinator of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Lion SSP.
“Unfortunately, Akili sustained serious injuries within the first few minutes of the meeting and despite immediate intervention by the Animal Care and Animal Health teams, she succumbed to her injuries and died Monday afternoon.”
“The loss of an animal is always sad but when it is sudden and unexpected, that makes it particularly difficult,” said Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo President, and CEO.
“Please keep the amazing team and everyone that worked with Akili in your thoughts as there are no words that can ease the pain of such a spontaneous loss. We are thankful that so many in the community had a chance to see and experience Akili, she was a great ambassador for her wild counterparts.”
Lions are social animals, but this is not the first time lions have attacked each other while in captivity. Being stuck in a small cage and used for entertainment can cause aggression in animals and lead to devastating events like this. Akili was born in captivity and died in captivity as a prisoner for profit. We can only hope that someday soon, the U.S. can take a page out of Costa Rica’s book and shut down zoos nationwide.
- Diseased Starving Lions with Bulging Ribs Saved From Horrible Zoo Conditions in Sudan
- Zoos and Aquariums Must Help Stop Zoonotic Diseases that Kill Millions of People Annually!
- Horrible! Zoo Declaws Lioness so She Can ‘Play’ With Visitors
- Petition: Stop the Captivity and Cruel Treatment of Lions
- 10 Lions Bred for Hunting Rescued From Captivity
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!