In December, twenty-four African lions rescued from circuses in Peru and nine lions from a Colombian circus will board the biggest airlift of its kind, heading to a forever home in Africa. Rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI), these former circus lions will live at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo province, South Africa.
To prepare for the journey, all the lions were microchipped at ADI’s rescue center near Lima, Peru. Two of the lions were given dental surgery.
Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “The lions don’t know that their lives are going to change forever – from years of suffering in circuses, they will live in natural bush enclosures under the African sun. This is like a person applying for a visa for the trip of a lifetime.”
“It is a long and complicated process to move large numbers of wild animals across international borders, especially in an operation involving three countries. We are grateful for the collaboration of officials in Peru, Colombia and South Africa to make this happen for these lions. It can only lead to stronger animal protection law enforcement in future.”
If you would like to help ADI fund Operation Spirit of Freedom, visit their website.
Learn more African lion facts at our lion article.
The Toronto Zoo is pleased to announce that Makali, a four-year-old white lioness, gave birth to four cubs on September 26-27.
The little lion cubs are healthy, feeding well, and staying in the maternity area of the lion habitat at the zoo. The first thirty days will be critical for the cubs and zoo staff will continue to monitor them closely.
Learn more about lions at our lion facts article.
Millions of animals around the world are held in captivity in conditions that are not ideal. One such pair of animals have their story told in The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue by Sara Starbuck.
The title lioness and lion live in two completely different worlds but are united in the fact that they both need to escape to better lives. Bella was blind, sickly, and brokenhearted at the loss of her family in the Romanian zoo in which she lived. Simba lived in a cramped backyard in France, after living his early years traveling in a circus trailer. The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue recalls the tale of the rescue and rehabilitation of these two majestic animals with the help of the Born Free Foundation.
In the book, Starbuck weaves the stories of Bella and Simba in alternating chapters to keep the reader captivated. Each chapter focuses on a part of the lions’ rescue and is written in a friendly, easy-to-read way. The text is accompanied by vivid, full-color photographs of the animals and rescue volunteers.
Interspersed throughout the book are fascinating facts about lions — everything from how their claws grow to why they have a tassel on their tail. In this way, readers learn not only about the plight of Bella and Simba but about lions in general.
The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue is a great read for anyone who loves animals, rescue stories, and happy endings. It is fit for young readers both in content and in ease of reading.
Learn more at Hachette Children’s Books.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia welcomed a trio of lion cubs on February 28.
“This is the first time we have bred lion cubs here in Dubbo, so you can imagine how excited we are with these three new additions,” said Zoo Keeper Roger Brogan.
The keepers have been monitoring the new mother, Maya, and her babies via a video camera link in their den.
“First time mother Maya is doing a wonderful job with her trio,” Roger said. “She is being
very attentive and nurturing. We’re taking a hands-off approach to allow her to fully utilize her natural mothering instincts.”
The lion cubs will stay behind the scenes for the next 6-8 weeks before going on exhibit for visitors to see.
To learn more about the cubs, visit the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.
See our lion facts page to learn more about lions.
This year, we fell in love with many new fuzzy faces and cuddly cuties. Here are a few of our favorite baby animals of 2014!
Cutest Yawn: Three male lion cubs were born at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on October 24. We love the middle guy’s yawn! Spending 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting, lions are the laziest of the big cats. In the wild, they can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or taking a snooze up in a tree.
Bounciest Baby: A baby klipspringer was born on March 30 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The term “klipspringer” is Afrikaans for “rock jumper”, and this little antelope sure does live up to her name!
Best Belly Rolls: This little roly-poly hippo calf, born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia on September 11, is just irresistible. In the wild, hippos live in sub-Saharan Africa. The hippopotamus is the second heaviest land mammal in the world!
Rarest Birth: Chimelong Safari Park, a zoo in southern China, announced the birth of giant panda triplets this summer. Panda triplets are incredibly rare, and usually, at least one of the cubs do not survive. Born on July 29, these three panda cubs have all survived and mother Juxiao is tending to each of them.
Coziest Hug: The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28 named Mpingo (EM-pingo), which is a type of African tree. The wood from mpingo trees are used to make musical instruments, and so mpingos are sometimes referred to as “trees that make music”. According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of adorable animal babies of 2014! Happy New Year!
Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA welcomed three male African lion cubs on October 24. Mother Adia and cubs are bonding and nursing well in an off-view maternity den. Zoo staff will monitor the newborn lions over the next several weeks to ensure their healthy development.
Watch a video of Adia and her cubs the day they were born:
In the wild, African lions inhabit the grasslands, shrub, and open woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Red List. They are threatened by loss/fragmentation of habitat as well as disease. They are also killed by humans in bravery rituals, as hunting trophies, for medicinal powers, or by ranchers protecting their livestock. To learn more about lions, see our lion facts article.
Learn more about the lion cubs at Woodland Park Zoo at their blog.
What a wonderful year it’s been for adorable baby animals! Here are a few highlights:
Most Eager Eyes: Pictured below is one of two female lion cubs who were born at Busch Gardens on March 20. The cubs have genetic lines from the Kalahari and Kruger regions of South Africa, where lions are recognized for their large size and impressive manes on the males.
Best Peek-a-Boo: Max, a little Coquerel’s sifaka (pronounced CAH-ker-rells she-FAHK — it’s a species of lemur), was born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on March 30. In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka live solely on the island of Madagascar, which is off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Most Spiky: The Woodland Park Zoo welcomed a North American porcupette (baby porcupine) on April 18. Porcupettes are born with soft quills that harden a few hours after birth, providing quick protection against predators.
Best Hugger: This baby bonobo was born on May 12 at the Memphis Zoo. In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered.
Rare Birth: King is an Eastern black rhinoceros born at the Lincoln Park Zoo on August 26. In the wild, Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching. It is estimated that there are only 5000 left in the wild in Africa.
Cutest Snout: Meet Gabana, a baby giant anteater born at the Nashville Zoo on November 16. In the wild, giant anteaters inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South America. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN.
Hope you enjoyed our roundup of cute animal babies of 2013. Happy New Year!
Today, August 10, is World Lion Day!
Here are five facts about lions:
- The lion is the second largest cat in the world. (The tiger is slightly bigger.)
- Lions spend 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting.
- Female lions are the primary hunters of the pride.
- Lions can go 4-5 days without drinking by obtaining moisture from the stomach contents of their prey.
- Lions once roamed most of Africa and into parts of Asia and Europe. Now around 20,000-30,000 of these big cats live in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in protected reserves.
If you would like to help lions, there are several things you can do. You can help save lions by writing a Letter to Lions that will be shared with African leaders. Share why lions are important to you and include a drawing if you like. You can also donate to charities like National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, Panthera’s Project Leonardo, or the African Wildlife Foundation.
To learn more about lions, read our Lion Facts article.
|A new lion cub is born at Space Farms Zoo in Sussex|
Space Farms Zoo and Museum in Sussex, New Jersey is the home of the newest member of a rare species of lion. The cub, Siren, was born 10 weeks ago. He is the fifth generation of Atlas lion to live at the zoo.
Atlas lions, known for the black manes on the males, are extinct in the wild. There are fewer than 100 in zoos worldwide.
To read more about Siren visit NJ.com.
Visit the Space Farms Zoo.