Tuesday 27th March was an amazing day at Newquay Zoo, with an event that even zoo keepers don’t get to take part in too often – the arrival of a new male African lion.

Sampson arrived from Combe Martin Animal and Dinosaur Park in North Devon at 12.15pm, to the surprise and delight of unsuspecting visitors.

John Meek, Animal Collection Manager said; ‘‘We are delighted to welcome Sampson to Newquay Zoo, and it is wonderful that our female lion Connie has company again. She was playing it very cool when he arrived - she could obviously hear him roar and smell him but she was very nonchalant about all the commotion. Sampson travelled well and was easy to box, and he has started to settle into his new home. We will keep him inside, separated from Connie, until he has adjusted to his new surroundings properly and then we will introduce them.’’

Connie has been by herself since the sad passing of her brother Charlie three weeks ago. As lions are pride animals finding a suitable companion for her was a priority of John’s.

He explained; ‘‘Sampson is 5 years old and he came to Combe Martin along with his brothers. He has been kept by himself for the last 8 months as the dominant male amongst his siblings took a disliking to him. Therefore it seems perfect that he comes down to Newquay to keep our female company.’’

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