Sarah the lioness. Photo courtesy of ABQ BioPark.
Sarah the Lioness Turns 22 on September 1Aug 29, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Zookeepers are celebrating the birthday of one of their oldest residents, Sarah the lion, on Thursday, September 1 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sarah benefits from the extra special care the BioPark gives to all of its older residents to ensure excellent quality of life.
The celebration begins between 9 – 9:30 a.m. with a decorated exhibit, wrapped enrichment items and a turkey for Sarah. From 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., visitors can learn more about lions and other cats at a discovery station with Education docents. They can also sign a card for Sarah.
“Sarah’s a great cat who has a lot of personality,” said Tony York, primary keeper for the lions. “She gets a lot of attention. As we do with all our animals, we make sure she receives the best care possible.”
As an elderly resident, Sarah receives extra benefits including half a chicken every other day, special access to the lions’ den and extra straw bedding in winter. Despite her age, she continues to be active during the cooler morning and evening hours. During the heat of the day, Sarah, like most of the cats, can be seen napping in the shade. Keepers monitor her health carefully, recording any changes in behavior and checking the amount of food she eats daily.
Born in 1989, Sarah came to the ABQ BioPark on April 19, 2002 from the Knoxville Zoo. Lions usually live to 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. As lions get older, they become less active and depend more on the pride to provide them with food. Older lions mask any aches or pains they may feel to risk attack from other predators such as hyenas and other lions.
Sarah’s Birthday Celebration is included with regular admission. The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For more information, visit www.cabq.gov/biopark or call 311 locally or (505) 768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).
AZA Members: Submit your Zoo & Aquarium News