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King of the pride... or not?

Posted by: Jenny Middleton
Posted on: 18 Dec 2017
Posted in

Animals, lions

Lions were the first animals to arrive here at Knowsley Safari and are a huge part of our history. Our current lions descend from that original group and we’ve seen plenty cubs born and grow up here!

 

lion male

 

In the wild, male lions would naturally move to different prides once their of a certain age. This is something we’ve replicated here at Knowsley in the past.

Our former pride male was the spectacular Kenya. Kenya arrived with us in 2003 and sired a new generation of lions here at Knowsley. Kenya fathered the males you’ll see on the safari drive today – Sam, Scooter and Mojo. The three boys were separated from the pride when they were old enough and formed a bachelor group.

Kenya passed away at the ripe old age of 17 in November 2015 which meant changes within the pride dynamics. Kenya was a clear dominant figure, his age, his status, and the fact he fathered most of the pride, gained him a lot of respect. This meant he brought the group together, calming arguments and helping everyone bond by starting up a communal roaring session!

When Kenya passed away we decided to integrate our bachelor male lions into the pride of females. This meant carefully planning the whole introduction process and replicated how a group of males would find themselves a new pride. From the process, Sam remained as the sole pride male with our bachelor boys Scooter and Mojo happily living away from the hustle and bustle of pride life.

Sam has taken to leading the pride well, but without age and wisdom on his side, the girls don’t have quite the same level of respect as given to Kenya. This means that when family squabbles occur, there isn’t a strong and dominant figure to put a stop to things.

Our expert keepers have used a number of techniques to bond the pride together, but the solution is to create two prides from one. Find out how we did this here.

Kenya

 

JS1-LION-KSP-SNOW-JAN13-DAD&BABY-5892-340929-edited

 

Sam and Ted

KSP Ted & Sam-008747-edited.jpg

 

Scooter and Mojo

KSP Scooter & Mojo-959123-edited.jpg
 

 

 

Jenny Middleton

Article by: Jenny Middleton

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