Adelor Memorial

Lincoln Park Zoo Bids Sad Farewell to King of Urban Jungle

Adelor the African lion euthanized today

(Chicago, Feb. 1, 2012) -- Lincoln Park Zoo is saddened to report on Feb. 1 that animal care staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Adelor, a geriatric male African lion due to progressively deteriorating health and quality of life. 

Adelor was 18 years old and lived at the zoo since 1995. Over the years he fathered five cubs. Guests of the zoo often remarked that seeing him was a highlight of their visit.   

“He would often be seen lying on the top of the large boulders of the exhibit where he could survey his territory and monitor his pride,” said Mark Kamhout, zoological manager. “Guests of all ages would flock to the lion exhibit when Adelor began roaring as he announced his territory several times a day. He was a wonderful leader of the pride and was very protective and affectionate of the females under his care.” 

The median life expectancy for lions (assuming the individual survives the first year of life, a particularly risky time for most mammals) is approximately 14 years. The maximum longevity recorded is 26 years. 

Adelor was one of many geriatric animals living at Lincoln Park Zoo. With advances in veterinary medicine, nutrition, husbandry techniques and exhibitry, animals are living longer in zoos and aquariums around the nation. As a result, managers and care takers develop new ways to address the unique needs of geriatric animals.

Fifteen-year-old female lioness, Myra, is the sole remaining African lion at Lincoln Park. The zoo is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan to identify another lion, or lions, which can be brought here to accompany Myra. No firm plans have yet been determined.  

African lions are native to the southern Sahara Desert down to southern Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest region. Wild populations are classified as vulnerable, with numbers declining due to habitat loss throughout Africa.

Lincoln Park Zoo is helping conserve the species through the Serengeti Health Initiative, a program dedicated to studying the Serengeti ecosystem and working to eradicate diseases like rabies and distemper that impact wild lion populations there.  

Adelor was a beloved individual and ambassador for his wild brethren. The Lincoln Park Zoo family is saddened by his loss. A memorial page has been set up in his honor. Adelor fans and friends of the zoo are welcome to leave comments, share memories, or express condolences to animal care staff who are especially affected by his loss.

If you are interested donating to the Adelor Memorial Fund as a tribute to the zoo's beloved lion, please click here.

All proceeds will benefit female African lion Myra and other geriatric cats at Lincoln Park Zoo.



Please remove this message as this imbecile has no idea what they are talking about!!! Thank You!!!

My sister and I are 10 and 9 years old were very sadden of the news of the passing of Adelor. It was very first thing my family and I would see whenever we would visit. I remeber one visit he roar so loud I thought something was wrong, but when we turned around I notice that either he was upset or enjoying the attention he was getting. I remember saying to my sister I wish I could sit next him on the rock he would always be.

Rest In Peace Adelor I will always love you

Alexandra XOXO

We will miss seeing and hearing beautiful Adelor when visiting the zoo. We have a beautiful picture of him from January that we will really treasure. Our condolences to your staff; it is always hard to lose a family member.

When we moved to Chicago from Ann Arbor for my husband's work I was initially overwhelmed by big city life as I missed my friends and family and career in Michigan. Those first few weeks I would comfort myself with a walk to the zoo every morning and I would sit to watch and listen to Adelor and Myra and Helene. I, too, had never heard a lion roar and I loved how Adelor would wind up and wind down with such an incredible bellow in between. Because of Adelor, I joined the docent program at LPZ and from there, I fell in love with the zoo and with my life in Chicago. It was an honor to stand with the "Big Cat' cart in front of Adelor's enclosure and talk about him with the thousands of children and families who came to visit. Adelor- you changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Thanks, old friend.

I lived across the street from the zoo for 10 years and went there almost every day, walking past the lions as a cool down from my jogs. Hearing the lion roar through my condo window was absolutely thrilling! Now that I moved from the city, we are still members of the zoo and my children have had the thrill, on occasion, of hearing the roar. I am really sad he passed. I never even knew his name till now. I hope Myra is going to get a new companion very very soon. Thank you, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Adelor, for the wonderful memories.

My condolences to your keepers, Myra and all of the LPZoo staff and volunteers. We were blessed for the priviledge of having you as part our zoo. You were a majestic Ambassor. Thank you for all of the wonderful memories you gave us. You will be truly missed. My favorite place will not be the same without you.

I use to live across from the zoo and when the wind was blowing just right, I could hear Adelor's mighty roar...that sound will be in my heart forever. Rest in a peaceful wild majestic one.

Our family will miss Adelor, he was also one of our first stops at the zoo. Our sympathy goes out to Kevin Bell and all the Lincoln Park Zoo staff and Adelor's caretakers. I hope that you get a new lion to keep Myra company.

I'm so sad to hear about Adelor's passing. He was a magnificent creature, and I'm honored to have had the honor to see and hear him on visits to the zoo.

My prayers and condolences are with his caretakers and Myra.

Dear Adelor - I hope your cubs are safe. I hope you're having a good time in heaven. Love, Eliza (age 4)

My son named his stuffed lion lovey after Adelor. He will be missed!

To the Keepers and Zoo staff - please accept our sincere condolences. You are in our thoughts during this time of grief. Thank you for taking such good care of our beloved Adelor. You made it possible for him to be King of our Urban Jungle. Farewell Adelor - you will always be remembered fondly.

Rest in peace, Adelor.

To the keepers at Lincoln Park - you are tremendous caregivers and it shows in the length of life and happiness displayed by these majestic creatures. We share in your pain, although we cannot know it as deeply as you do. May you find some peace as well as you grieve and continue to care for Myra.

Bye bye, Adelor.
I will miss hearing you roar when I go to the zoo. And I'll miss seeing you smile.
I love you.
Lily, age 4

I will miss you too, majestic Adelor. Rest in peace.
Courtney (Lily's Mommy)

I read the sad news this morning and I know that I'm not alone in grieving for the noble beast who was Adelar.
On my visits to Chicago the first visit is always to Lincoln Parh Zoo.
It still will be but there will be one less friend to greet.
I now have to tell my grand daughters of his demise as they adopted him five years ago and always ask to see the latest photographs of him.
A great loss as I know by all the messages left here, my respect for his carers who looked after him and my condolences on their sad loss.
A friend from the U.K.

Thank you Adelor. It was nice to know you.

Adelor, Every time I came to visit,you were there to welcome me. As the poem said you are in the cat bed in the sky.

I lived in Chicago for 15 years and going to LPZ was one of my favorite places to relax. I live in California now and hearing that Adelor, such a beautiful creature has passed, I feel so sad and miss being able to go hear his glorious roar! I can only imagine how sad your caretakers are. You were family! Peace and love to all...

couldn't watch anything else when adelor was around. always wondered what he was saying when he would roar. does anyone know? his and myra's roars were the only lions' roars i have ever heard. thank you lincoln park zoo for making him a part of our lives.

I miss you so much Adelor. I always looked forward to seeing you whenever I went to the zoo. Probably my best visit with you was in Januray 2011. You were roaring all amazing to hear it. Going to the zoo for now on, and not getting to see you, will be so different. :( Love you Adelor...may you rest in peace.

I will miss Adelor and his raucous greetings too. He has been a friend of my daughtr's since she was a tot. One of my fondest memories is a winter day when Adelor greeted us upon entering. We had a lovely lunch in the big cat house then went sledding on the hill near the pond just east of where the new wood pavilion stands. ROARRRRRRR!

I'm so sad Adelor died. He was my best buddy. Every time I came into the cat house, Adelor would roar as if saying, "Hello! How are you? Where have you been?" I'll really miss him.

My husband, two young boys and I visit the zoo almost every weekend, snow or shine. Adelor brought great joy to our family, and we have some wonderful photos of my now three-year-old cozying up to the sweet, old lion's den. He will be missed. I will say prayers for the staff that loved Adelor and had to make the painful decision to euthanize him. He's your angel now.

I'm very sorry for your loss at Lincoln Park Zoo. It really is a loss to us all.

I was truely sad when I heard Adelor had to be put down.I have many years of fond memories w/ my daughter at LPZ. Some of my fondeset memories included his amazing roar in the backround. He was truely loved and will be greatly missed.

My deepest condolences to Adelor's caregivers and those of you who loved him so much and saw him every day. I know you are grieving. I will so miss seeing him sitting on the rocks looking so regal! The Zoo will not be the same without him. My thoughts are will all that enjoyed him and loved him all these years.

I felt so saddened to hear of Adelor's passing....he was such a great cat! As an animal lover, he was
way up there just under my four Beagles! I have some wonderful pictures of Adelor, one on top of
HIS rock and one looking at him through the glass. He was so close I felt I could almost reach out and
touch him....he was napping at the time but still looked like the King Lion that he was. His roar was
awesome and such an entertainer. I have been there when people would drift away from watching him and
as soon as they were gone he would roar and roar and ROAR and people would come running back to
see him!! If he roared inside of the lion house = oh MY! Your ears would ring! And now that great voice
is silent and one has to think that Adalor is in heaven and roaring uproariously!!
My condolences to all the LPZ staff involved with Adelor and especially those who gently led him to
his final rest. I loved Adelor.

King of beasts, King of Chicagoland, you will be missed for a long, long time. Myra, especially, will miss you. I hope the Lion of the tribe of Judah will give you life everlasting. Keepers of the lion house, thank you for the care you have given him all of his long life. Be gentle with Myra as she grieves for him.

Adelor was my connection to the universe.Not only was he my star symbol but as I visited with him it was so easy to imagine being on an African photo safari with Adelor walking by my side and being my guide to the wonders of that continent.Now he is" star shine".

We loved Adelor and are very sad to lose him. We both got to spend time with him during Zoo camp and other visits to the Zoo. Thank you to the staff for all they did for him.

I looked forward to seeing Adelor when my husband & I were at the zoo, He was such a handsome guy.You will be missed very much! R.I.P.Sweet Adelor, We Love You!

We were so sorry to hear about Adelor's passing. We loved visiting him, our friend across the street. Our deepest condolences to the staff who cared for him.

It was strange to see this on the news, as the day before had been unseasonably warm--in the mid 50s--so I went for a long walk through Lincoln Park, along the lakefront, and to LIncoln Park Zoo. I always like watching the lions, sitting there proudly, above it all. He may have been kept in a zoo, but you could tell he was still the king. Usually both lions were quiet; it was rare to hear them, at least in my experience, and I get there quite often.
But this time both lions were roaring. Adelor was laying 50 feet or so away from the female lion, and they were roaring back and forth. It sounded like a plaintive call, but then lion roars sort of do. Their roar is a sound unlike ever I've ever heard. It's hard to believe anything can be so deep. I've heard the Drepung Monks chant; they spend their lives learning to sing/chant about 8 octaves lower than the human voice can normally go. Compared to a lion, they are sopranos. The sound carries, a low rumble spreading through the zoo. It almost felt like the ground was trembling.
Having just seen the great beast and not being aware how old and in poor health he was, it somehow hit me hard when I heard of his demise. He liked to sit up high at the back of their area, right next to the glass wall, the observation area. So, often when you went to the zoo you could stand literally five feet from the huge cat, watching him yawn. He paid little attention to the people. Either he couldn't really see through the glass, or more likely had just grown used to the people, knew he couldn't get to them, and didn't care. It was amazing seeing him so close up, and of course I realize that is very different than seeing a lion in action in his native habitat.
I'm sure his mate is very lonely, and the whole zoo community misses him. He was the king of the zoo; the first animal you would see upon entering. You could almost imagine he was sitting there, near the entrance, watching over everything and everyone, taking it all in, his kingdom.

Though I am now married and living in Wisconsin, I have fond memories of the beautiful Adelor. So sorry his time is over. He had a happy life though at LPZ. Rest peacefully, dear Adelor. You will always be remembered. <3

Adelor holds a special place for my family; my husband and daughter visited him about twice a week in the first 2 years of her life. We would often roar like Adelor, "ruh, ruh, roAAAAR!" in play with her. I'm at home with my daughter - now 8 - today. We shed tears for his passing and hold his memory in our hearts. Also wishing the maker's peace to those who cared for him across the years. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

I saw Adelor when I was 2, and have kept him in mind ever since. Right now the only thing I can say now is: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you Adelor. We loved it when you roared. Thanks for creating wonderful memories for me and my children. Rest in peace.
See you in heaven

We were lucky enough to just see him... a few weeks ago...while on a trip to chicago to visit my son. The zoo, aside from of course being with my son and his wonderful girlfriend, was the best thing we did while we were in town and Adelor was my favorite "guy" there. I'm so saddened by this news. But I know he lived a good life in that wonderful wonderful zoo.

We think the king of the jungle is in the sky, in heaven - enjoying his time there. We will miss seeing Adelor at the zoo and hope Myra finds a new companion soon. The zoo has been a big part of our life - I ran by the lions each morning before kids, and then brought my kids to see the lions.

Thoughts and prayers for you guys through this difficult time. I visited the zoo for the first time last year and will visit again this summer. I tell everyone how beautiful your zoo is and I also have stressed the beauty of Adelor and no other lion compares to him from any zoo I have visited. He sure was a great and beautiful animal. He will be missed when I visit again.

The zoo will not be the same with out our dear friend, Adelor. We rejoiced in his reverberating roar as he perched on his rock. Our thoughts are with his skilled and compassionate care takers during this difficult time.

We enjoyed your majesty for many years Adelor. We will not forget your empressive roar.

I will sadly miss him. He truly was a beautiful cat and I adored him. I have a wonderful panoramic picture of Adelor sitting so elegantly on his rock - I will forever cherish that photo.

Rest in peace majestic one. Condolences to the zoo staff and to all that knew and loved him.

Loved having Adelor as a "neighbor" when I lived just a few blocks away from the zoo and visited him often. He will be thoughts are with the Zoo staff.

I am so saddened to hear that Adelor has passed. He was the highlight of the zoo especially when you heard his loud roar. My children have visited him since the time they were born. He was always the first place we'd head when entering the zoo. You will be missed Adelor!

Thank you for the Memories over the years. You will be sadly missed my old friend.

Adelor, you were much loved beyond Chicago. I'm a zoo member from Naperville, and loved the many trips to Lincoln Park Zoo. You were the best. Rest in peace, majestic friend.

Adelor was a truly magnificent animal. I started and ended many of my runs with Adelor, he will be missed. Thank you to all at LP Zoo who took care of Adelor, as well as all the others who take care of the wonderful animals at our neighborhood zoo.

I live very close to the zoo and have enjoyed my visits for over 5 years. First stop is always the seals, but my favorite stop and where I spent most my time, is watching Adelor and Myra. Finding out about Adelor passing is very hard to hear, but knowing that he had a good life and 1000's of people who adored him makes me think his strong spirit is at peace.

My daughter's first animal noise was in response to Adelor's ROAR on one of our many visits to the zoo when she was a toddler. She was late to talk, very quiet, but oh could she ROAR!!! It is a delightful memory we share 10 years on.
You will not be forgotten, Adelor!

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