Lions And Zoos

OKC Zoo Announces African Lioness Dunia Is Pregnant | Community

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Zoo is roaring with excitement this World Lion Day, an annual event on August 10 that celebrates the majestic African lion, with the thrilling announcement that its African lioness, Dunia, is pregnant !

Dunia, 6, is due to give birth to her first baby at the end of September 2022.

The OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions, which has recommended that Dunia mate with OKC Zoo’s male lion, Hubert, 10 year.

This will be the first product born from this breeding pair.

SSP programs oversee the population management of certain species at AZA member zoos and aquariums, the press release said.






The OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions, which has recommended that Dunia mate with OKC Zoo’s male lion, Hubert, 10 years (pictured). Photo provided.


“This is an incredibly important and successful breeding recommendation for Dunia and Hubert, as it has been 15 years since the last litter of African lion cubs was born at the OKC Zoo,” the statement added.

“We are extremely excited for this upcoming birth, especially after nearly 15 years since our lion family grew,” said OKC Zoo Carnivore Curator Tyler Boyd. “The opportunity to see Dunia and the rest of the Pride experience this addition will be incredibly special for our team members and our guests. With African lions listed as a vulnerable species, every birth is vital to the continued success of this species.

The OKC Zoo veterinary care team confirmed Dunia’s pregnancy through ultrasound monitoring and after a gestation period of around 100 days, she is expected to give birth in September. Carnivorous caregivers say Dunia is in good health and her routine will remain the same throughout her pregnancy.

The carnivore care team will continue to work with the zoo’s veterinary team to monitor Dunia’s pregnancy through ongoing exams and ultrasounds.

Dunia voluntarily participates in her own health care, including medical behaviors such as ultrasound through positive reinforcement training. Because of this successful training program, this process is a stress-free and comfortable experience for Dunia, Boyd said.

African lions are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with wild populations declining due to illegal hunting, habitat loss, loss of food sources and conflict with humans.

The total lion population in Africa is estimated to be less than 40,000 mature individuals.

In 2021, the OKC Zoo provided money from its Round Up for Conservation fund to help three Africa-based conservation organizations in their efforts to reduce human-predator conflict. These organizations provide local farmers with livestock guard dogs and anti-predator enclosures in exchange for the farmers’ pledge not to harm predators, including lions, on their land. This protects both livestock and predators, including lions, cheetahs and African painted dogs. Thanks to the Round Up for Conservation Fund, OKC Zoo guests help protect lions and hundreds of other species around the world.

Lions are found in most ecoregions of Africa – forest, savannah, shrubland, grassland and desert – and are the most social of all cats. They live in groups called prides which average about 15 members, but can range from 3 to 40. Females usually live with the same pride for life, but males often leave when they are a few years old.

That of the Zoo View of the lion the habitat is home to his lion pride, including Hubert, Dunia and his sister, Moto, 6. Dunia and Moto, arrived at the zoo in 2018 from the AZA Accredited Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon as part of a recommendation from breeding made by the SSP for Africa Lions.

Guests will most often see Hubert, Dunia, and Moto lounging atop their habitat in Lion Overlook.

When visiting the OKC Zoo, patrons are encouraged to witness a conversation with a carnivore keeper held at the Lion Overlook. These free informal talks take place daily at 10 a.m. and are a great way to learn about the zoo’s big cats and other predators from the experts themselves, the carnivore keepers.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with last entry no later than 2 p.m. through Wednesday, August 31.

Purchase tickets in advance for general admission to the zoo at okczoo.org/tickets. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children two and under are admitted free.

To learn more, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.







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