SALINA, KANSAS – Rolling Hills Zoo’s new lion pride arrived from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago the morning of June 5th. The pride, made up of a male and two females, along with Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal curator and keepers, left Chicago at 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon and drove through the night to arrive at Rolling Hills Zoo the next day.
The pride includes 9-year-old male Sahar and 5-year-old female littermates Kamali and Zalika. Sahar, a 429 lbs. African lion, was born on January 27, 2010 at the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society and moved to Lincoln Park Zoo in February 2012. Arriving at 2 years of age, Sahar had become an icon at Lincoln Park Zoo. In the summer he could often be found lounging on the high rocks in the middle of his habitat, or in cooler months he was often found on the heated rocks. Sahar likes to keep both of the females nearby (especially Zalika), and if they wander out of view you can hear his roar across the zoo grounds. A little more shy by nature, Sahar is expected to take a little longer to warm up to his new home.
As littermates, Kamali and Zalika were born on September 7, 2013 at the Oregon Zoo. To tell the two apart, Zalika is the larger of the two females, weighing in at 415 lbs. Kamali weighs 371 lbs. and also has a black scar on her front left leg from when she was over-groomed by her mother as a young cub. Both arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo in April 2015, at which time they were also introduced to Sahar.
Both females are outgoing and curious, especially with new people, and acclimate well to their new environments. Overall they are playful and calm, but Zalika takes the lead on the majority of things and has a very strong bond with her sister as well as with Sahar. Kamali on the other hand is more reserved then Zalika, and will often let her sister take the lead. Both are motivated to learn behaviors and work with their keepers to participate in their own health care.
This pride was moved to Rolling Hills Zoo on the recommendation of the African Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP), a collaborative effort among Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) – accredited institutions.
Now settling into the Lion Exhibit at Rolling Hills Zoo’s at for observation, the pride is on “lion time” to determine when they will be allowed into their habitat for public viewing. During their first one to two weeks of observation, the keepers will be getting to know the pride while the pride will also be acclimating to their new keepers along with their new environment. Once the keepers feel that the pride is comfortable with their surroundings and with each other, then they will go out into their habitat for visitor viewing.
Rolling Hills Zoo is a 65-acre zoological park which includes a world-class wildlife museum. In celebration of our 20th Anniversary, relive our story during this year’s Gallery Show as a prairie, a barn and a dream is transformed into one of the top tourist attractions in the region. Visit us at Rollinghillszoo.org
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