Zoo's lions turn five
Published: 4th Sep 2017On the 30th of August our trio of African lions turned five, they celebrated with some wrapped presents from our keeping team
Newquay Zoo’s trio of Lions turned five on the 30th of August. The lions celebrated with wrapped presents filled with their favourite food.
Born on the 30th of August 2012 at Longleat Safari Park, Boss, Amahle and Semira, now based at Newquay, were raised by parents Hugo and Nikita alongside their brother, Harry, who is still at Longleat. The family of 5 belonged to a pride of 29 Lions at the safari park, where the trio resided for their first year. In the wild, prides can have up to 40 members, with only 3 males.
Having joined the Zoo under the care of Senior Keeper Owen Taylor in 2013, the lions have fully adapted to life at the Zoo; climbing trees, playing football and sleeping up to 20 hours a day. Now under the care of new Senior Keeper Mike Downman, the lions seem to be adjusting well and getting to know Mike, just as he is getting to know them. ‘The three of them certainly have very different personalities, much like domestic cats do. Boss is very lazy, particularly with training, he will only do things for certain people, whereas Semira is very quick at picking up commands and will work well with all of our keepers’ says Mike.
Newquay Zoo celebrated the lions’ fifth birthday with a wrapped present, which was given to them at feeding time. Upon finding the presents, spectators witnessed Amahle and Semira find their food first, enjoying tearing their presents apart whilst Boss took a little longer to uncover his birthday treats. This behaviour is similar to that in the wild as the females are the primary hunter.
This is a form of enrichment used to encourage the animals to exhibit natural behaviours and to keep them stimulated. The process of wrapping their food up, means that they will have to work harder for it, similar to the work they would put into hunting in the wild.
To book tickets to see the lions receiving their presents on their birthday see the Newquay Zoo website for more details: www.newquayzoo.org.uk