The Kovler Lion House welcomed the first stirrings of a new pride today as 2-year-old lion Sahar went on exhibit for the first time.
In a carefully planned first step, the young male was given access to the lower portion of the building’s outdoor yard. As he becomes comfortable with his new home, he’ll begin to explore the upper habitat and indoor exhibit, where visitors will soon see this impressive predator.
Sahar will be by himself at first as animal care staff choreograph his introduction with 16-year-old Myra. The two big cats have been getting to know another behind the scenes through exchanged scents and distant sightings. Soon the pair will begin a series of “howdies” where they see, smell and hear one another while separated by protective mesh. When our experts feel they’re ready, the pride will begin to prowl the Lion House.
As this is a social pairing and not a breeding recommendation from the Lion Species Survival Plan®, lion cubs aren’t on the horizon. Given the age difference, caregivers expect more of a maternal relationship between Myra and Sahar. But the pride will be a dynamic one, offering plenty of excitement as the young male grows and matures.
Come by this weekend to meet the new arrival. If you get a photo of Sahar exploring his new exhibit, be sure to share it on the zoo’s Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as Sahar settles in, drawing his first crowds with roars to remember.