Female Lions Asha and Kali complete the Zoo’s Pride

The Virginia Zoo’s Pride is now complete with the addition of two female lions, Asha and Kali. The two are sisters were born at Blank Park Zoo on November 14, 2017 and were placed at the Virginia Zoo based on a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan, a breeding and population management program designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of animal populations in human care.

Kali is the more dominant female weighing in at 311 pounds and Asha is 300 pounds. Both enjoy ice treats and toys such as boomer balls and various scent enrichment. They explored their new habitat at the Virginia Zoo for the first time on Tuesday. Keepers say the girls were calm yet inquisitive, unlike Ansel, the male lion who came to the Zoo in April. He’s energetic and loves to climb the rocks and chase the birds. It will still be some time before the trio will be seen out together, as they have to move through the “howdying” or introduction process, which can be a slow transition period as Zoo Keepers monitor interactions between the animals.

The Zoo is throwing a Lion House Warming Party on June 12 from 10 am to 2 pm. Visitors can see the trio and hear their stories during Keeper Chats at 11 am and 1 pm. Meet Trail Hosts and participate in enriching and fun activities for all ages. No housewarming is complete without a few gifts to make them feel at home. The lion’s Keepers have picked out a few new toys and exhibit furnishings that Zoo fans can purchase or donate toward. Festivities are included in general Zoo admission. More information can be found here: https://virginiazoo.org/event/lion-housewarming-party/

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