Note: Two lion cubs, Dixie and Ken, were born on December 6, 2013. They may be seen in the Animal Care Center's window daily from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4:30 p.m.
An African lion’s life is all about sleeping, napping, and resting. In a 24-hour period, lions will have short bursts of intense activity, followed by long bouts of lying around that can total up to 21 hours! These gorgeous felines are good climbers and often rest in trees, perhaps to catch a cool breeze or to get away from flies. You may see one of our lions relaxing in a favorite acacia tree at Lion Camp!
Life for our lions is filled with new and unexpected experiences, just like it would be for them in the wild; however, it's up to their keepers to provide the big cats with those experiences by offering them a variety of things to sniff, taste, or play with. This is known as "enrichment." Keepers often place interesting scents in the Lion Camp exhibit, found in such items as wood shavings from our hoofed stock barns, herbs like cloves or cinnamon rubbed on a rock, or fox urine sprayed on a wall. Food enrichment can include large blocks of ice like a huge popsicle, filled with chunks of meat and called meat-sicles, or whole fish—a fish-sicle!
Cardboard boxes, palm fronds, and feed sacks make great toys too. And the lions love to play with large, heavy-duty plastic balls. They roll them around, toss them around, and even pounce on them, all in good fun. Thanks to their keepers and trainers, there is never a dull day at Lion Camp!