Image: © Zoos SA

African Lions Play at Zoos SA for World Lion Day


Cale Russell


August 10, 2023 4:20 pm


South Australia, Australia

Zoos South Australia (Zoos SA) have treated their two prides of African lions housed across Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo to celebrate World Lion Day.

At Adelaide Zoo resident pair Mujambi and Amani tore in to boxes prepared by the BEEZA (Behavioural Environmental Enrichment for Zoo Animals) volunteer group. At Monarto Safari Park the twelve strong pride were treated to hidden meat among some enrichment balls.

While the enrichment items may be fun for both visitors and the lions it also serves an important role in enhancing the life of these animals while they are in human care. Monarto Safari Park Carnivore Keeper Christy Tonkin explained, “We make every day different in some way to keep the lions’ stimulated. The paper mache ball enrichment they enjoyed today encourages them to play and use their natural hunting skills.''

“Scent enrichment is also a hit with our lions and we’ll often use poo and branches taken from the giraffe and rhino habitats to give them new interesting scents.

“Caring for the lions is very special, but I really love watching how the pride interact with each other and how they resolve altercations amongst the group.”

Monarto Safari Park is home to one of the largest lion prides in Australia and it is set to grow in the near future. Females Makena and Husani are both pregnant with first time mother Makena due any day now.

Christy added, “Husani is a seasoned mum and this will be her third pregnancy, with four cubs in her first litter and five in her second, we’re excited to see how many cubs she gives birth to this month.''

“Makena and Husani are spending a lot of time together and it’s nice to see them bonding over the pregnancies,” finished Christy.

Unfortunately the African lion is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Less than 20,000 individuals remain on the African savanna with the species heading towards extinction in 2050 if conservation efforts are not implemented.

Zoos SA providing funding to the Zambian Carnivore Program to support their work in conservation research, habitat restoration and education.

World Lion Day at Zoos SA

African lion brothers, Kashka and Kito are seen in their habitat at Monarto Safari Park. Image: © Zoos SA

World Lion Day at Zoos SA

A female African lion plays with some of the enrichment provided to her pride on World Lion Day at Monarto Safari Park. Image: © Zoos SA

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More on the African Lion!

The African lion may be the 'king of the jungle' but you won't find them in the jungle. Find out where they do live with our fact file.

About the Author

Cale Russell

Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.

Our Favourite African Lion Fact!

The African lion is the world’s second largest cat species. Males of the species are easily distinguishable due to the large mane which goes around his face.

Image: © Zoos SA

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