Lion born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo killed in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. • A lioness born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs was fatally injured when she was introduced to a newly acquired male companion at the Birmingham Zoo, officials said on Tuesday.

Akili, who was born in 2005 and has been visiting Birmingham Zoo since 2007, could not be saved when he was injured by a lion named Josh, who had been at the zoo since April.

The slow process of introducing the two lions had begun earlier, the zoo said in a statement, and Akili was seriously injured minutes after Monday’s encounter.

“Bringing animals is always risky because wildlife can be unpredictable and we cannot control their interactions,” Hollie Colahan, the zoo’s deputy director, said in a statement.

The presentation was made on a day when the zoo was closed, so there were no visitors, said Jennifer Ogilvie, a spokeswoman.

The Akili Family of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 – Three new lion cubs have been born to Elson and Angie, who are mating at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Two of the cubs are spending time with their father in the zoo’s lion yard. The litter includes two males, Kiota and Tamarr, and one female, Akili. This is the third litter of the pair that are mating at the zoo.

“Josh is doing well and will continue to receive the excellent care he always receives,” she said.

Josh was brought to the zoo to replace another male lion who died in 2021, the statement said. Dozens of people expressed their grief over Akili’s death in response to the zoo’s announcement on social media.

“How devastating. It was a beauty! one person wrote.

Akili was one of three cubs born to Elson and Angie, who mated at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and had produced three cubs.

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