Lazarus off to Aussie

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By HIN­ERANGI VAIMOSO

Lazarus the lion woke up on Fri­day so hun­gry he could eat a horse – so he did.

The furry beast en­ter­tained snap­ping cam­eras as he frol­icked in the long grass at Auck­land Zoo be­fore munch­ing on a horse leg for break­fast.

The 10-year-old lion at­tracted even more at­ten­tion to­day when he moved to his new home at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales, all un­der the watch­ful eye of zookeeper David Crimp of Oratia.

He’s worked at Auck­land Zoo for four years.

‘‘We’ll def­i­nitely miss Lazarus. He’s got such an amaz­ing per­son­al­ity,’’ Mr Crimp says. ‘‘He’s the dom­i­nant male around here and he re­ally proves it by strut­ting around and show­ing off like he does.’’

Lazarus is leav­ing so Ngala can take over as the dom­i­nant male and breed with the fe­male lions.

‘‘It’s sad be­cause they both came from Africa when they were re­ally young and they’ve been like broth­ers ever since. In some way, Ngala will be happy to be­come the dom­i­nant one but in other ways, it’s al­most like he needs Lazarus to lead him.’’

Mr Crimp and the 199kg Lazarus flew out on a Boe­ing 757 Freighter for DHL Ex­press.

The lion won’t be se­dated dur­ing the trip so his health can be mon­i­tored.

‘‘It’s been re­ally great work­ing with Lazarus and watch­ing his per­son­al­ity grow. I’m sure he’ll have a great time over there.’’

Lazarus has fa­thered two lit­ters at Auck­land Zoo.

Hunger buster: Lazarus the lion from Auck­land tucks into a meaty leg for break­fast.

Pho­tos: HIN­ERANGI VAIMOSO

Fa­mil­iar face: David Crimp of Oratia will be the zookeeper trav­el­ling with Lazarus.

Go to auck­land city­har­bournews. co.nz and click on lat­est edition to see Lazarus play­ing.

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