Meet our majestic lions!
Monarto Zoo is home to one of Australia’s largest lion prides. With five adult females, one adult male and five juveniles, the lion habitat is always a hive of activity!
Inkosi is our eldest male lion and shares his exhibit with the two male juveniles, Mlinzi and Jelani.
The females within the pride consist of sister trio Tiombe, Kibira and Zalika who were born in 2004 at Auckland Zoo before arriving at Monarto in 2005, and mother and daughter duo Kiamba and Jahzara. Mum, Kiamba, was also born in 2004 and arrived at Monarto in 2005 from Adelaide Zoo and gave birth to Jahzara in 2011. Each lioness has their own distinct personality and characteristics but all share a love for a tasty treat of turkey pieces and basking in the sun under the shade of the trees in their habitat.
Our five youngsters were all born in 2013 to mums Tiombe and Kiamba. Tiombe’s three cubs, a boy named Jelani and two females named Husani and Nia were born in April, while Kiamba’s pair, a male named Mlinzi and a female named Makena were born in June. The cubs have a ball playing with each other and their big aunties and like most youngsters have an extensive toy collection including bowling balls, different sized barrels and ocean buoys. As for their favourite treats… when you’re a growing lion, everything is delicious!
At present our males are housed separately to the larger female pride.
African Lions are native to sub-Saharan Africa and live in rich grasslands and light woodlands of eastern Africa to the more arid areas of the Kalahari Desert.
Lions live in large family groups called prides, which usually consists of a dominant male, a dozen females and their offspring. Lionesses share the hunting and babysitting duties, but it’s not all easy going for the boys, who are responsible for protecting the pride and territory. As the only social cat, they have a well-developed sense of humour!
Ensuring African Lions thrive for years to come is no funny business. It’s estimated that between 16-30,000 lions exist in the wild. Lions historically ranged throughout Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia. Today, the population is found in an isolated pocket of India, where the Asiatic Lion is classified as critically endangered with less than 400 individuals remaining, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Like lion numbers, habitat for lions has declined as human population, land cultivation and numbers of livestock have steadily increased in areas lions call home. Lions are often killed to protect livestock or as retaliation kills for livestock loss.
Love lions? Join our pride and ensure lions stay a pounce ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these majestic creatures.