In my long career as a zookeeper, I have had to say goodbye to many animals that I have loved. As I write this tribute to Prosperity, I am surprised by the realization of how much she captured my heart with her sweet and gentle soul. It is only fitting though, as throughout our time together, she has never ceased to amaze me and prove me wrong at every turn.
Prosperity was a very special lion from the very start. She was born on Christmas Day in Las Vegas, Nevada in the care of the famous entertainers, Siegfried and Roy. Her inexperienced mother failed to care for her, so she was hand raised by Roy Horn himself, along with his staff of animal caregivers and trainers.
Although Roy loved her very much, he realized early on that Prosperity should not stay in Las Vegas, as there were no cubs for her to grow up with there at that time. It was decided that she should come to the Cincinnati Zoo to be raised with our young males, Sunshine and Future.
Prosperity began her life in the limelight of Las Vegas and would be brought out on stage in a limousine. She was used to a very privileged life and came to us on her own private jet and was fed from a silver platter. Because of this, I had my doubts about her assimilating to a lifestyle in a zoo. But she got along just fine and grew to love our boys.
As the lions grew together, they became inseparable. Prosperity would go on to breed with Sunshine and gave birth to four cubs. Again, she surprised me by being a truly wonderful mother to her little cubs. 3 males and a female. The males would go on to live at the Toledo Zoo and her daughter, Gracious, remains here today.
Prosperity always rolled with the changes with a calm reserve and was the most wonderful lion. She holds the distinction of being named the official mascot of the U.S. Senate, where the most powerful lawmakers are known as lions. Her companions, Sunshine and Future, passed on years ago, as well as her three sons in Toledo. And now, at the age of 22 years, it is time to say goodbye. We will miss you, our most special of lions, you have been the best lion anyone could have hoped for. I am most honored to have gotten to take care of you these many years.
Farewell, my beautiful lion. May you have a special spot in Heaven that is most fitting for the Queen that you are.
53 thoughts on “Prosperity”
So sorry for your loss. She was beautiful and fortunate to be loved and given such a wonderful life. Much better than a life in Vegas. May she be at peace and pain free and watching over you and her daughter with love.
Such a sad story, I’m sorry for your loss. She was absolutely beautiful.
Sorry for your loss! She was beautiful and is now living without pain! Don’t worry she is looking down watching over all of you and her daughter!
What a beautiful tribute. Please know you are not alone in your grieving. I am so very sorry for your loss.
So much love !!!! ❤️ I’m sorry for your loss
This is so beautiful and I am so very sorry. Thank you for caring for her so wonderfully.
What a beautiful tribute to honor Prosperity. Your love for her shines through your words, and I pray you find peace through your memories of your years spent together. ❤️
Sorry for your loss… what a beautiful lioness she is! Thank you for taking such good care of her – sounds like she had the best life at the Cincinnati Zoo!
The love and special care she received are examples of why our zoo is so widely acclaimed. Thank you for giving her your heart.
So sorry for the loss of such a magnificant creature , I’m sure she will continue on in the hearts of all her caregivers and those who admired her RIP PROSPERITY ❤❤❤❤
Thank you for taking such good care of her- it is clear she had a wonderful life and was much loved❤️
Such a wonderful tribute. Made me cry at the end. So sorry for your loss
My condolences to you, the staff, the vet team, visitors, and all who loved this beautiful girl. RIP Prosperity.
“You have been the best lion anyone could have hoped for.”
I am very sorry to read about the euthanization of Prosperity, the lovely lion. What a majestic soul and very special big cat.
Thank you for her history and the tribute.
Such a sweet and loving tribute. So very sorry for your loss
Thank you for sharing! I was not aware if where she came from. Cincinnati Zoo is fortunate to have been chosen to have her come here. Obviously it was a good choice, look how long she thrived there with the care of her amazing team.
I loved this tribute. Whenever I have left Manatee Springs after a Tuesday VE shift, I have looked into the yard to see which of the white lions might be out. This past season was my tenth, and in those years, we lost all but Gracious. Sad day for all of us, but especially for her caregivers. Beautiful creatures.
What a wonderful tribute to the beauty Prosperity was. I am so glad to have seen her & Gracious this past Spring. Regal & beautiful creature of God’s design.
so sorry for your loss.
praying for all.
so sorry for your loss. sounds like she was a special lady. who aged gracefully. what a loss for our zoo. prayers that gracious does well on her own. what along life they both have had tho.
I’m so sorry for such a beautiful animal. Her pride and elegance is amazing. She will be missed. Prayers for her daughter living long and healthy.
Laura I’m so very sorry for your and the other zoo keepers loss of beautiful Prosperity…she was clearly a gorgeous asset to the zoo..such a majestic queen..I know she will be dearly missed..thank you for taking such wonderful care of her!
What a moving tribute. Beautiful words, beautiful lion, and a beautiful relationship you had with her. Please find comfort in the life you provided for her. Thank you for loving her.
So sorry for your loss. It’s quite obvious Prosperity was very special and deeply loved. You gave her a wonderful life and I’m sure she realized that. Good Bless You and Prosperity!
Prosperity was a beautiful animal and you could tell by the way she looked that she was taken care of very well; plus how long she lived. I hope her daughter Gracious, lives as long or longer. It is so hard when an animal you love passes over the Rainbow Bridge. Thank You for your kindness.
Very sorry for your loss. Prosperity was very beautiful!
So sorry for your lost, for the Gracious’ lost, zookeeper, zoo and all the staff! And our lost too… All life is precious, and animals are angels because they’re pure… Thanks for take care of her in life, now you need to respect the body end give it a rest.
The daughter needs the focus now, she is an old lady!
Thank you for sharing. I understand how you feel. My eyes teardrops fell upon reading this. May you always remember the good times with her.
I remember when she first came to the zoo and when her babies were born as well. Such a beautiful girl. Wonderful tribute, Laura. She will be remembered well.
Indeed sad. But the strength she showed you gives you the tool to share with others & help them along the way. She is at peace.
Coming to the Zoo to see her was always a special treat. A beautiful Lion that blessed our zoo with her beauty, strength and kindness. Laura, your loving tribute is a true testament of your love for this sweet Lion, how well you care for your animals and how kind you truly are. Thank you for what you do and being a role model for all of us who are pet owners or Animal Care Givers. Rest in peace Prosperity.
So very sorry for your loss and for the loss to Cincinnati Zoo, the staff and it’s patrons. Thank you for all you do for the beautiful souls in your care. ❤
Always loved lions. Sorry for your loss may she run pain free in heaven.
May God bless you at this difficult time Laura. What an amazing opportunity you had to watch and help care for this beautiful cat. I am sure she lived as long as she did due to your love and care. There have been several losses at the zoo the past few months and it has been very hard for me to read about all of them. Your tribute to her brought tears to my eyes. Based on your sympathetic tribute I can tell she meant the world to you and touched you in a way you will never forget. Prosperity was so blessed to have you. RIP Prosperity!
Sorry for your loss.Such a beautiful lion
What a beautiful memorial to a beautiful lion.My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I am so sorry for your loss. Prosperity will wait for you Zookeeper, at The Rainbow Bridge. Kudos to the staff at The Cincinnati Zoo for giving Prosperity the life she derserved.
Heart melting. What an awesome lion . A queen indeed. Wonderful that she lived so long and could be helped to leave when her body was failing. What a loss for you. So much love must be coming to you from all of us who appreciate your care for these exceptional beings. X
I’m crying for your loss. What a beautiful cat she was. She’ll greet you again someday!
So very sorry for your loss. Her longevity was amazing and can be attributed to the wonderful care you gave her. She was such a beautiful lion, and your tribute to her was so touching. She will be missed and may she rest in peace.
I will always remember Prosperity from watching the Shows with all the lions, I made it a point to know their Names.. I was a Kid lol But Prosperity was BEAUTIFUL And just a Huge Cottonball that could year you in Half ..made an impression 4sure.. I miss those Shows But I have No doubt this Queen of the Jungle’s Journey is Far from over ..R.I.P. Old Girl
So very sorry for your loss! What a beautiful lion! Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute for her! Also thank you for giving her such loving care!
It is a very sad loss. I would like to mention the breeding of white tigers is inbreeding which has caused many genetic problems with tigers such as cleft palates, scoliosis of the spine, mental impairments and crossed eyes. Many of the cubs that are born either in zoos or by breeders have to be ‘disposed’ of because they are malformed at birth. the practice of breeding white tigers as “not in adherence with AZA’s Board-approved Policy on the Presentation of Animals” Zoos need to educate the public to this awful practice
Not many of our animals come to us on a private jet. So thankful that Siegfried and Roy did what was best for Prosperity instead of what was best for them. She could have been a Las Vegas star but instead became a star in Cincinnati. I have watched her from her beginning days here and was never less then impressed with her. Thank you for this touching tribute and your care for her.
I cried throughout the entire tribute. She sounds amazing and was beautiful. I pray her daughter is able to thrive without her. I’m sure she will be missed.
So So Sorry!!