Lioness pair pride of zoo
A pair of lioness sisters from Dubbo have taken pride of place at Perth Zoo as future mothers for a new breeding program.
Three-year-old lions Makeba and Uzuri arrived out west on Halloween and were unveiled to the public yesterday.
The sisters are settling into their new surroundings — after an eight-hour drive from Dubbo to Sydney and a cross-country flight — at the redeveloped lion exhibit which was upgraded in two stages at a cost of $3.4 million.
Perth Zoo zoology exotics supervisor Ric Dunlop said two sections of the enclosure were blocked off from each other to prevent the new additions interacting with 19-year-old resident lion Shinyanga.
“Shinyanga can’t be put in with the two girls because of the social structure; all prides are made up of mothers, aunties, sisters and daughters and unrelated males, so to bring another female in is not a good situation,” he said.
In the wild lions only live about 10 to 14 years; however, in captivity their lifespan can expand beyond 20 years.
The zoo previously had a pair of male lions, Nelson and Mandela but Shinyanga had gone past the age of having cubs when they arrived.
Bree Maddox with her children Charlie, 2, and Max, 3, admire new arrival three-year-old Makeba.