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A New King of the Jungle Moves in at Reid Park Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 17, 2020 5:23 pm

african lion reid park zoo

Tony the African lion in his new enclosure at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

There is a new king of the jungle joining the pride at the Reid Park Zoo. Tony the lion has moved to Tucson from San Antonio Zoo and joins the two resident females at the zoo.


Tony was named by NBA star Tony Parker as part of a charity auction benefiting San Antonio Zoo.

african lion reid park zoo

Tony the African lion in his new enclosure at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

“Tony is a playful and curious lion. He is fun to work with and likes to reach high and stretch to get enrichment items. For example, he has batted down pumpkins with meat treats inside with great skill,” says Hannah Carbonneau, Zoo Keeper.


Zoo staff are currently working through the process of introducing Tony to the resident females, Kaya and Nayo. This process may take weeks or even months before the three lions can be seen as a full pride.

african lion reid park zoo

Tony the African lion in his new enclosure at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

“Tony will meet the girls slowly first through smelling items they have played with, next watching them through a mesh door, and when they show relaxed behaviors, they will be able to play together,” says Rebecca Edwards, Animal Care Supervisor. “Until then they will take turns being out on habitat.”


Bringing Tony to Reid Park Zoo was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan®. At present the group is not recommended for breeding but this may change in the future.

— AD —

Currently only 20,000 lions remain in Africa down from over 200,000 a century ago. To support lion conservation the Reid Park Zoo suggest not buying items made from animal products.


Reid Park Zoo has partnered with Disney and Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund in a commitment to help double the number of lions in Africa by 2050.

african lion reid park zoo

Tony the African lion in his new enclosure at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

Learn more about African Lions here – African Lion Fact File | The Animal Facts


Learn more about Reid Park Zoo – Reid Park Zoo

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