The Seneca Park Zoo is home to three African lions, one male, Chester, born in September 2010 and two females; Zuri, born in September 2010 and Asha, born in January of 2011. They came to the Zoo in December of 2011 from an animal park outside Pretoria, South Africa. Each
lion has its own distinct personality.
Chester is the most cautious and will usually
follow Zuri's lead. He often carries his favorite toys around
in his mouth all day. Zuri, lighter in color,
is the most outgoing of the trio. She’ll be the first to investigate new
surroundings and situations. Asha, has a reddish tint and the most
shy in the group, but is mischievous, frequently pouncing on the other two to
initiate a play session! Read more about our new lion cubs here
Lion cub info:
March 7, 2013; one male and one female
Weight at birth:
Male (three pounds); Female (three pounds). Current weight: Male (9 1/4 pounds); Female (ten pounds)
How much are they eating?
They are currently eating about 1 1/3 pounds of solid food and 10 ounces of milk from a bottle daily.
When are they eating?
There are four feedings daily: 9 a.m., Noon, 3:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
When will they be introduced to the adults?
The timeline for introduction has not yet been set.
When will the cubs be on exhibit?
The timeline for when they will be on exhibit has not yet been set.
Will they stay at the Zoo?
They are part of a national breeding program (SSP). They will eventually go to another Zoo to start their own families. We expect them to stay for approximately two years.
Do you expect to have additional cubs?
Because their genetics are very valuable, we do hope to have cubs again in the future.
Status in the wild
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.