Lions And Zoos

Donation helps El Paso Zoo with new enrichment toys for its lions

El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens announces that it has received a generous donation from the Downtown Lions Club for new lion enrichment toys.

The zoo will present a check and unveil new animal enrichment items at the lion exhibit on Thursday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m. Zookeepers will use the new enrichment toys to aid in the breeding process Lions.

The zoo says their male lion, Hodari, arrived at the El Paso Zoo on Nov. 8, 2021, and is expected to mate with one of two female lions. His transfer to the zoo was made possible by
the El Paso Downtown Lions Club who held a pecan fundraiser to raise $5,000
Don. The Lion’s Club went one step further and donated an additional $2,000 to
buy lion enrichment toys for exhibit.

The El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens says Hodari joined fellow African lionesses, Zari and Malaika, as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) and aquaria (AZA). The mission of the SSP is to conserve species such as the African lion.

“The hope is that when Hodari comes out and plays with these items, the female lions will follow him and exchange scents and accept him with pride. Introducing and integrating these powerful animals is a slow process that takes time and at this time female lions don’t like Hodari. Hopefully these enrichment items provided by the Downtown Lions Club will help speed up this process.

Joe Montisanodirector of the El Paso Zoo

Downtown Lions Club President Marc Aimklov said, “We hope these new additions can help with the introduction of lions and eventually we will have a lion cub for the zoo and the citizens of El Paso.

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