Thursday, January 15, 2015

African Lion Pride Debut

The Sacramento Zoo is excited to announce that the African Lion cubs, their dam and sire are now on exhibit! Both parents are keeping a close eye on the 12-week-old trio as they romp around the exhibit between lengthy cat naps.

Unlike other cat species that are fairly solitary, lions live in groups or “prides.” If multiple females in a pride have cubs, they will pool them into a larger cub communal group called a “crèche.”

Lions are considered regionally endangered in West Africa and an estimated 42% of major lion populations are declining. Their habitats are now only in game reserves in Eastern and Southern Africa. Loss of genetic diversity from inbreeding, fragmentation, diseases and habitat loss are all problems that continue to threaten this species. Diseases from domestic cats and dogs have also made an impact on wild populations.

The Sacramento Zoo participates in the Lion Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The Lion SSP works with captive populations to increase awareness of the problems that face this big cat.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Erik Bowker


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lion Cub Photos & Video - Ten Weeks Old

The three African Lion cubs are settling into their exhibit since their public debut two weeks ago. The rambunctious trio continue to develop their skills by climbing on the rocks and logs, pouncing on each other, running and tumbling down the slope and using their mother as a big chew toy, teething and chewing on her tail, legs or anything else that is handy! Even in the chilly temperatures they are bounding about and enjoying the sunshine.

Their mom is quite protective but is adjusting to seeing guests near her cubs and you can even hear her vocalizing to them throughout the day as she tries to keep all three in sight. We are slowly moving the public barriers closer to the original fence line, allowing time for the mother to get comfortable.

Currently they cubs are on exhibit from approximately 10 am to 2 pm daily but do have access to their off-exhibit den. Mornings are still the best time to catch a glimpse of them.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Erik Bowker



Photos by Erik Bowker

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Catch a Glimpse of Lion Cubs!

Starting December 26 you may catch a glimpse of the Sacramento Zoo’s African Lion cub trio! The mother and cubs will have periodic access to the exhibit, giving them time for short romps around the exhibit and lengthy catnaps as well as time away from the public. Zookeepers will be continuing off-exhibit introductions of the sire to the dam and her cubs creating one family unit over the next few weeks. The cubs and their mother will not be on exhibit regularly at first, so be sure to check saczoo.org daily for updates so you can catch a glimpse of the cubs. 

The cubs were born the morning of Friday, October 24. The lioness has been taking excellent care of her charges in the behind-the-scenes dens as they learn to follow her (which is important in lion society as prides are often on the move) and develop all their skills. The two female cubs and one male cub are now exploring the exhibit with curiosity under the watchful eyes of their mother. The sights and smells are sure to entertain the trio between lengthy catnaps and time in their off-exhibit den. Eventually, the whole pride will be on exhibit regularly.

Unlike other cat species that are fairly solitary, lions live in groups or “prides.” If multiple females in a pride have cubs, they will pool them into a larger cub communal group called a “crèche.” These females will take turns caring and overseeing the crèche until the cubs are around two years of age.   

Lions usually spend 16 to 20 hours a day sleeping and resting, devoting the remaining hours to hunting, courting and protecting their territory. They are highly territorial and keep in contact with one another by roaring loud enough to be heard up to five miles away. African Lions are excellent hunters. Although they are mostly nocturnal, they are opportunistic and will hunt anytime, day or night. Females do 85 to 90 percent of the pride’s hunting while the males patrol the territory and protect the pride.

Lions are considered regionally endangered in West Africa and an estimated 42% of major lion populations are declining. Their habitats are now only in game reserves in Eastern and Southern Africa. Loss of genetic diversity from inbreeding, fragmentation, diseases and habitat loss are all problems that continue to threaten this species. Diseases from domestic cats and dogs have also made an impact on wild populations.

The Sacramento Zoo participates in the Lion Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The Lion SSP works with captive populations to increase awareness of the problems that face this big cat.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Chris Llewellyn

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions - Zoo Style

Kampala Café is now palm oil free!

At the beginning of every year, Sacramento Zoo staff make personal, and work-related resolutions that range from getting fit to living a greener life. In 2014, the Zoo’s Kampala Café (operated by Service Systems Associates - SSA) joined in, resolving to become palm oil free. From cookies and ice cream to cosmetics and soaps, palm oil can be found in just about any consumer product. Because of this high demand, much of the forests in Borneo and Sumatra have been cleared to create palm oil plantations. This deforestation has caused an alarming decline in Orangutan populations, bringing this species to the brink of extinction.

With many products, it was easy for SSA to switch brands or continue with current ones. However, there was one holdout the ever-popular churro. After many months of research, SSA finally found a palm oil free one! The Zoo and SSA are proud to announce that as of early December the resolution to have a palm oil free café has been checked-off the list.

For more information about the palm oil crisis and to download the sustainable palm oil shopping guide app visit http://www.cmzoo.org/conservation/palmOilCrisis/




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lion Cub Update & Photos - Six Weeks Old

It's a boy! And a girl! And another girl!

At six weeks old the three African Lion cubs received their first veterinary exam. The female cubs weighed in at 10 lbs and 10.7 lbs while the male is 13.75 lbs! The male is not just heavier but also larger than his sisters even at this young age.

The three play a lot, nipping each other, pulling on one another and attacking mom's tail. They still tend to sleep near one another, often in one big cub pile.

Photo by Erik Bowker
Photo by Erik Bowker

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Give the Gift of Zoo!

This holiday season get all your holiday shopping done at the Sacramento Zoo! Check out the gift guide below for something for everyone on your list.

GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING*

A DAY AT THE ZOO
Treat your family or friends to a day of fun with the Sacramento Zoo coupon book. Just $45, the book includes four admission passes, six ride tickets for the train or carousel, and coupons for the gift store and concessions! Available at the Member & Visitor Services office or call (916) 808-5888.

ZOO MEMBERSHIP
Give the gift of visits to the Sacramento Zoo for a full year! Go to the Member & Visitor Services Office or visit saczoo.org/membership for more information.

ZOO PARENTS
Give a purr-fect gift of a Zoo Parent animal sponsorship! Benefits are given to your loved one and it also helps our animals. Go to the Member & Visitor Services Office or visit saczoo.org/zooparent for more information.

ENGRAVINGS
Give the gift of a lasting legacy with a personalized message for all visitors to see. You have your choice of honoring someone with a personalized engraved brass walkway plaque, a bench plaque, a Conservation Carousel animal, or a Tall Wonders Giraffe Hoof. Visit saczoo.org/tribute for more information or call (916) 808-5888.

GIFTS FOR THE ZOO*

TRIBUTE OR MEMORIAL GIFTS
Tribute and memorial gifts are a thoughtful way to celebrate a loved one during the holidays. Your gift will be acknowledged with a letter letting the recipient, or their family, know a donation has been made in their honor or memory. Visit saczoo.org/tribute for more information.

VEHICLE DONATIONS
Donate your used car, truck, RV or boat. Free towing is provided. Call (866) 570-7318 for more information.

IN-KIND DONATIONS
Gifts of goods or services help offset the Zoo’s operating budget by supplying needed items and materials from generous donors like you. Visit saczoo.org/InKind for more information.

BROWSE DONATIONS
Your tree and plant clippings can be donated, instead of going in the green waste bin, to provide delicious browse (non-toxic leaves and branches) that help feed our animals. Visit saczoo.org/browse to find out how to donate and what plants or trees are needed.

ONLINE SHOPPING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Visit saczoo.org and click on the link to Amazon. They will automatically donate a percentage of your purchase to the Sacramento Zoo at checkout at no extra cost to you!

*All donations to the Sacramento Zoo are tax-deductible. For more information on giving opportunities, visit the Member & Visitor Services Office, call (916) 808-5888 or go to saczoo.org.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lion Cub Update & Photos - Five Weeks Old

At five weeks old, the trio of African Lion cubs are very active! They wrestle with each other and spend a lot of time jumping and chewing on mom. Their canine teeth are starting to erupt which you can see in the photo below. The cubs have spent the last week having nose-to-nose contact with their father in preparation for introducing them to each other. Lions are the only cat that live in prides or groups. All other species live a more solitary life and the sires are not involved with raising the young.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters