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Zoo Boise Mourns the Passing of Female Lion Obadiah

Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is saddened to announce that Obadiah, the zoo’s 19-year-old female lion, was euthanized Tuesday due to declining health. After careful monitoring and support from the animal care and veterinarian staff, and administration of therapeutic treatment, Obadiah did not show signs of improvement. Following an additional examination by Zoo Boise’s veterinarian this week, the tough decision was made to euthanize her.

Obadiah arrived at Zoo Boise in 2008 along with her sister Mudiwa and male lion Jabari. They were the first lions to join the Zoo Boise family.

“Obadiah has been a big part of the zoo’s conservation efforts for many years,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “We appreciate the community’s support and the love they’ve shown for this incredible animal since she joined the Zoo Boise family.”

The mean life expectancy for lions in captivity is 17 years. In the wild, an African lioness may live up to 16 years, but males rarely live past the age of 10. Zoo Boise is home to two other lions, Mudiwa and Revan. Mudiwa is 20-years-old and Revan is seven.

“It is never easy to say goodbye to one of our beloved animals, and we are grieving this loss along with the community,” said Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “Lions are truly majestic creatures and no doubt Obadiah’s presence in Boise has made a strong impression on everyone who had the opportunity to visit her.”

Since 2010, the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund has supported the protection of wild lions in Africa through the Gorongosa Lion Project. Lion populations across Africa are currently threatened, with the number of lions in the wild dropping from 400,000 to only 20,000 in the last two decades.

Zoo Boise has turned the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Since 2007, visits to Zoo Boise have generated more than $3 million towards the conservation of animals in the wild, redefining why we have a zoo. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, and science.

Zoo Boise is currently open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a set number of tickets available each day to meet current group size requirements. Tickets must be reserved in advance and a timed entry process has been implemented to reduce lines and allow for physical distancing. Please note, due to the current Public Health Order in place in the City of Boise, face coverings are required when visiting the zoo. For more information regarding ticketing, other health and safety protocols and to reserve tickets, visit Zoo Boise’s website at www.zooboise.org/online-ticketing.