Single 340 pound South African lioness seeks male companion. Must love napping, have interest in mating. Big mane a plus.
The two new lions on the Savanna block met for the first time this week and zoo staff are hoping for the sparks to fly.
Nine-year-old male krugeri lion Hubert, from Knoxville Zoo, and nine-year-old female krugeri lioness Kalisa, from Virginia Zoo, have up until now been rotating their time since joining the Woodland Park Zoo's award-winning African Savanna exhibit.
But for the first time ever, the zookeepers allowed the lions to meet each other in their exhibit this week, now that they are comfortably adjusting to their new home. Watch them interact here:
The meeting went well, if a bit cautious at first. They checked each other out, even flirted a little. Kalisa has been seen rolling around on her back, “tempting” Hubert. They have also been roaring at each other, the ultimate cat-call.
Keepers will continue to slowly introduce the lions to each other, increasing the time they spend together daily, until the felines are comfortable. With Kalisa in estrus, we hope the two will find enough interest in each other to consider breeding. For now, we’ll just watch and see how the flirtation develops.
Photos by Dale Unruh, Dennis Dow and Ryan Hawk.