Zoo welcomes two new lions
Aslan and Baruti are seen in a supplied photo from the Calgary Zoo. The two new male lions will be introduced to the public on Thursday.
Published Thursday, January 3, 2013 9:43AM MST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2013 10:00AM MST
The Calgary Zoo will be unveiling two new male lions to the public on Thursday after they completed a quarantine period from their initial arrival back in July.
Baruti and Aslan were born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on September 22, 2010.
According to a release from the zoo, both lions are settling in well with the two older female lions Tisha and Mbira.
“We are excited for visitors to have an opportunity to finally meet our new additions to the African Savannah. These two boys have very high genetic value in the captive population,” said Jamie Dorgan, area curator. “They are of the lion subspecies krugeri (Panthera leo krugeri) and since their parents are directly from South Africa they are considered founders in the Species Survival Program and North American population.”
Due to the advanced age of Tisha and Mbira (17) and the age of the two new males, they won’t be considering any breeding plans at this time.
It’s likely that some breeding age females will be transferred to the zoo sometime in the future to be paired with Aslan and Baruti.
African lions are classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Okonko, the last lion that the zoo had, died during a medical procedure to remove his cancerous spleen last year.
The lion’s heart failed during his recovery from the surgery.
Okonko was born in the Aalborg Zoo in Denmark.
He was transferred, along with three female siblings, to the Calgary Zoo in April of 1997.