Are lion cubs in our future? That's the hope thanks to a new addition to the Denver Zoo.
Just another East Coast transplant looking to call Colorado home ... just kidding! Tobias, a two-year-old male lion, has arrived in Denver by way of the Buffalo Zoo and is getting acclimated to his new home. According to the Denver Zoo, Tobias came to the zoo in mid-December and is currently under a 30-day quarantine period before he joins the other wildlife in the Predator Ridge exhibit. He came to our fair city as a recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.
"Tobias is already showing signs that he’s feeling right at home at the Zoo—he’s acclimating to his new surroundings and participating in training sessions with his new care team,” said Assistant Curator of Predators Matt Lenyo. “If all goes well, we’ll hopefully have a successful match with at least one of the females, which could mean lion cubs within the next couple of years.”
The lion will be housed with the three female lions of the Denver Zoo, and he will hopefully be a mate for three-year-old Kamara and six-year-old Neliah. Introducing new lions into the pride is an important part of maintaining a healthy, genetically diverse population of African lions, which are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
"Tobias’ genetics are valuable for the SSP because he doesn’t have too many relatives in zoos and no relation to any of our females. We hope he continues the success we’ve had in recent years bolstering the size and health of the population of lions in zoos,” said Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Care Hollie Colahan.
According to zoo officials, in the next few weeks, Tobias will start exploring his new habitat where visitors will get a chance to see him.
Will you visiting Tobias once he makes his debut at the Denver Zoo? Let us know in the comments below.