Lion Introduction Update 11-29-11

Introductions of adult male lion “Shombay” to his 4-month-old cubs are now underway, and going very well!  After many weeks of having visual contact through a secure barrier behind the scenes, Shombay’s curiosity and calmness earned him the opportunity to begin interacting with the cubs in their exhibit space.  Zoo Keepers started by introducing him to each cub individually, for a short time each morning.  When they were satisfied that dad and all three youngsters could wrestle and play safely one-on-one, Keepers carefully started adding cubs to the mix.  The Keepers watched very closely for any troubling signs of aggression, but with each successful session took another small step towards reuniting the family.

We will be continuing this gradual introduction each morning when the Zoo opens at 9am.  We can’t promise how long Shombay and the cubs will be on exhibit together each day, but visitors who arrive close to opening time should have a good chance of seeing them.

Every decision about introductions will be made on a day-by-day basis, but Keepers are optimistic about the whole process so far.  If all continues to go well, we hope the whole family will be out all day soon. We’ll keep you posted!