Happy fifth birthday to our lions at Newquay Zoo

On 30th August our three African lions, Boss, Amahle and Semira, turn five. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to look back over their lives so far. 


Our three lions, along with their brother Harry, were born to parents Hugo and Nikita at Longleat Safari Park in August 2012. After spending a few months separated from the pride with mum, the cubs joined the group ready for Christmas and the start of the New Year.


As they grew and developed personalities, the keepers at Longleat gave our troublesome trio their names. Amahle and Semira are traditional African names, whereas Boss was named for comedic purposes – his dad is called Hugo. So, Hugo, Boss… get it?  Yes, we know - terrible! 


The first of the three lions to join our collection was Amahle. Originally brought in as company for Boss’s predecessor Samson, Amahle joined us in 2014. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to us, Samson didn’t get along with Amahle too well, and was relocated to Dartmoor Zoo in 2015.


Shortly after that, a discussion began with Longleat about obtaining another lion to keep Amahle company. It was decided to transfer both Boss and Semira to Newquay Zoo, where they were welcomed by Owen Taylor and his team. The move left Harry at Longleat with a remaining pride of 29 lions; Harry still lives there now.  


The three have formed a very close knit pride. Boss has learnt how to play football, the three of them began regular training with our keepers and they all enjoy some enrichment provided by the ‘Shape of Enrichment project’ hosted at the Zoo. 


Life for the only lions in Cornwall involves eating, climbing, playing and most importantly sleeping. They do sleep A LOT. Did you know, lions can sleep for up to 20 hours a day?!

On 18th June, the lions were the main focus of our Big Cats and Cupcakes evening. The event a huge success (we hope to host another in 2018) and allowed us, and the lions, to bid farewell to Owen, who had been their Senior keeper, trainer and primary food source since they joined the collection.

Although it was sad to say goodbye to Owen, who has taken a Head Keeper position at our sister Zoo, the lions have now welcomed a new Senior, Mike Downman, who will be celebrating their birthday with them on Wednesday.

Here at the Zoo, we understand that our three lions are super important to our collection, and wish all three of them, and their brother Harry, a very happy birthday! If you are interested in purchasing a birthday gift for our lions, please see our Amazon Wishlist.

Quotes Throughly enjoyed our visit to Newquay zoo, there was plenty to see! Quotes