Rolling Hills Zoo welcomes new lion pridePosted: Updated:
Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina gained three lions on Wednesday including one male, Sahar, and two females, Kamali and Zalika.
The three were previously at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, but were permanently moved to Salina after Lincoln Park decided to remodel their lion exhibit.
Leaders at Rolling Hills say it's unique to see the pride stay together as they move.
"It's rare that you get an entire pride of lions all at once, usually you are building your pride or you might get one animal here and get one animal here," said Brenda Gunder with Rolling Hills Zoo. Gunder works as the general curator of animals at Rolling Hills, and says the lions have a strong bond the keepers hope to build even more.
"It's great because their keepers come in and we're able to talk to them, and you just can't put a price on that, to connect with those people who have been caring for and loving them, and getting to transfer that here and keep doing it," said Gunder.
The pride will spend the next few weeks under observation. This gives the lions time to get comfortable around the keepers and for the keepers to watch and understand the animals' actions.
Once the keepers feel that the pride is comfortable with their surroundings, they will be placed into their habitat for visitor viewing.
Learn more about the Sahar, Kamali, and Zalika
Sahar is a 9-year-old male and weighs 429 lbs. Zoo leaders say Sahar is typically shy, but vocal when he's not around the females. He roars loudly and can be heard throughout the zoo.
Kamali and Zalika are 5-year-old littermates. Kamali weighs 371 lbs. She is curious and calm.
Zalika weighs 415 lbs. Zoo keepers describe her as outgoing, curious, and dominant. They say she has a strong bond with both Kamali and Sahar.