For Release: Nov. 1, 2006
Peper Long (202) 633-3082
John Gibbons (202) 633-3083
On Monday afternoon, the Smithsonian's National Zoo welcomed three new lions from South Africa.
The lions (one male and two females) will not be on exhibit for at least 30 days. During this quarantine period, Zoo veterinarians and animal-care staff will monitor and evaluate their health.
The three lions are all less than 3 years old, and are a part of the Species Survival Plan for African lions, managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Currently, the National Zoo has one female lion on exhibit. Lusaka, who is approximately 15 years old, arrived at the National Zoo in August 2003 from the Wildlife Waystation in California. The public can see her at the Zoo's Great Cats exhibit.
Most lions in the wild can be found in Africa with a very small population in India. In Africa, their home ranges from the southern part of the Sahara to northern South Africa, but lions are absent from tropical forest areas. The lion is listed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union. There is a small population of approximately 300 lions in the Gir Forest of northwest India—this population is listed as endangered.
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