The Zoo is home to five African lions - three adults that arrived in December 2011 from an animal park outside Pretoria, South Africa (one male, Chester, born in September 2010 and two females; Zuri, born in September 2010 and Asha, born in January of 2011) and two juveniles (two females, Savannah and Amali) born in March 2013. Savannah was born here at the Zoo in March 2013, while Amali was born in March 2013 at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo.
Please note: Our adult and juevenile lions rotate being on and off exhibit on a regular basis.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Vulnerable. African lions are protected under CITES Appendix II. They are part of the Zoo's Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program. It is believed that during the past two decades, the lion population has declined by nearly 30 percent. Main threats listed by IUCN are indiscriminate killing by humans and prey base depletion. Other problems include habitat loss, agricultural expansion and geographic isolation of different groups.
Lions have vanished from more than 80 percent of their historic range and currently exist in 28 countries in Africa and one country in Asia (India, the Asiatic lion). Historically, lions were found in Africa and from Greece through the Middle East to northern India. African lions are most common in plains or savanna habitat with a large prey base (mostly ungulates) and sufficient cover of tall grasses and sedges. Lions can live in forested, shrubby, mountainous and semi-desert habitats.
Large ungulates, birds, rodents, fish, ostrich eggs, amphibians and reptiles. Lions also actively scavenge, taking cues from hyenas and vultures.