New Lions at the Zoo

Jan 03, 2013

With the winter weather now a little more balmy, the Calgary Zoo is delighted to be able to introduce Calgarians to African lions Baruti and Aslan!Born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2010, the two young males arrived in Calgary in late July 2012. After completing the required quarantine period, a slow introduction process commenced. Aslan and Baruti are now settling well into their new home and getting to know their new roommates, 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.”

With the advanced age of the zoo’s two female lions (17) and the relative immaturity of the two-year old males, there are no breeding plans at this time. Eventually, however, it is anticipated that the Species Survival Plan will recommend transferring several appropriate breeding-age females to Calgary to be paired with Aslan and Baruti. African lions are classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

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