A big change is in the wind this winter for the lions at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The time when all magnificent seven juveniles can share a yard at the Great Cats exhibit is winding down, and animal care staff have begun preparations for separating the 1-1/2 year-old male juveniles from their father, mothers and sisters.
Over the next couple of weeks, visitors will still have the opportunity to enjoy the playful antics of the entire pride. Lion/Tiger Keeper Rebecca Stites will lead the Zoo's behavior watch team to note the juveniles' social interactions, look for territorial markings, and watch for other cues that suggest Baruti, John and Aslan are ready to be in their own bachelor group.
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Photo Credit: Jim Jenkins, Smithsonian's National Zoo