Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: April 27, 2022 5:57 pm
One of three African lion cubs born in January enjoyed their first trip in to the main exhibit this week
Photo Credit: Zoos SA
Three thirteen week old African lion cubs have taken their first adventure in to the main exhibit at Monarto Safari Park in Australia. Visitors were able to view the moment Malkia, Chad and Ruka joined the pride in the exhibit.
Keepers have been gradually providing access to the 10.8 hectare habitat since last week ensuring they were confident for their public debut.
The cubs showed their confidence following mother Husani and their aunties to go explore around the unique Lions 360 dome.
Zoos SA staff were joined by the Hon Zoe Bettison MP, Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, for the exciting moment.
"Monarto Safari Park is home to one of Australia’s largest lion prides and is part of the international breeding program safeguarding this species from extinction," she said.
"Any cubs born will play a significant role not only in the Park’s breeding program for this vulnerable species, but also as ambassadors for African Lions, acting as a powerful educational tool to shed light on the plight of their wild cousins."
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Ahead of their debut the cubs have been meeting the rest of the pride. Since their birth they lived off display with mother Husani. Over recent weeks they have been meeting their aunties and the male lions.
The only female in the litter, Malika has taken a particular interest in the manes of the males and is often seen playing and jumping on them.
Keeper Rachel Hemming said all three cubs have stayed close to mum Husani, who has been kind, gentle, and calls out to her litter to make sure they are all safe. It is hoped the cubs will continue to follow her to the Lions360 dome so visitors can get within a whisker of the adorable trio.
“The cubs have been very playful with each other and the rest of the pride,” Rachel said.
“Around the four-month mark, the cubs should be climbing over the Lions 360 dome. This is obviously a learned behaviour from other members of the pride, but we hope to see them as part of the experience soon!”
Lions 360 is a unique experience where guests enter the cage and lions can climb all around them. Experiences such as this support the conservation of lions through Zoos SA’s partners the Painted Dog Conservation Inc and the Zambian Carnivore Program safeguard lions in their native Zambia.
Malkia, Chad and Ruka explore the main exhibit at Monarto Safari Park
Photo Credit: Zoos SA