One of Zoo Boise's female lions passes away

Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 13:05:37-04

BOISE, Idaho — Zoo Boise announced Wednesday that Obadiah, a 19-year-old female lion, was euthanized earlier this week due to declining health. After monitoring and support from the animal care and veterinarian staff and therapeutic treatment, Obadiah did not show signs of improvement.

After an additional examination by Zoo Boise's veterinarian this week, the decision was made to euthanize her. Obadiah came to Zoo Boise in 2008 with her sister Mudiwa and male lion Jabari. They were the first lions to be at Zoo Boise.

“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 average life expectancy for lions in captivity is 17 years, according to Zoo Boise. In the wild, an African lioness may live up to 16 years and male lions rarely live past 10.

“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. Zoo Boise says lion populations in Africa are threatened, with the number of lions in the wild going from 400,00 to 20,000 in the last two decades.

Zoo Boise is home to two other lions, Mudiwa and Revan. Mudiwa is 20 and Revan is seven.