The Denver Zoo recently introduced four new ‘cubs’ to their Predator Ridge exhibit. Born on May 17 2015, the four brothers Kito (meaning jewel), Bahati (meaning lucky), Usiku (meaning night), and Jasiri (meaning adventurous) have caused newfound excitement to sprout within the zoo. “They’re kind of like the second generation of Predator Ridge,” Hollie Colahan, Vice President of Animal Care says, “The cats that we opened this exhibit with over ten years ago are gone and now we have this new group.”
The new lions were transported from the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. This took place after their father, Razi, began to push them out. This is a normal behavior that happens at this age since the male lions are reaching sexual maturity.
With only 30,000 lions left in the wild, conservation efforts to save these magnificent felines are being stressed at zoos everywhere. Nearly two lions are killed per day due to various causes, but the most imminent factor being fragmentation and loss of habitat Hollie Colahan talks about what the average person can do to make a difference for lions around the world, “We love to tell people just coming here to the Denver Zoo makes a difference for conservation. I think that anytime people spread the word and spread awareness that lions are in trouble and that habitat loss is an issue not just for lions, but for animals all over the world, that it helps inspire people to tell that story and build that awareness.”
All in all, the brothers are a totem of hope for lions around the world and inspire awareness of the peril that this species is experiencing, as well as paving the path for a new generation at the Denver Zoo.