The Pueblo Zoo welcomes lioness, Mashavu to the family

March 2, 2012

The Pueblo Zoo welcomes a lioness, Mashavu, to the family. She’s had quite an adventure getting to Pueblo Zoo, but everyone is very excited to have her here.Mashavu was born in captivity on July 29, 2006, at the Sedgewick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. Since her birth she has moved to Oklahoma for a short time, then moved to Michigan to try and make friends with a male lion at the Potter Park Zoo. The introductions did not go so well, and she fortunately moved to Pueblo in 2011 and where she has made friends with our male lion, Taz Jahari. Lucky for us she is at the prime age for having babies, and we are hoping for possible lion cubs sometime this year.The Pueblo Zoo is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums which has programs called the Species Survival Plan or SSP. These programs allow zoos across the U.S. the ability to manage the population of lions in captivity without having to sacrifice genetic diversity. This is why Mashavu is a prime candidate for being a mother. Her cubs will carry on a specific family tree which can help continue a demographic population without inbreeding.According to National Geographic, gestation lasts an average of 110 days, and a female lion can have a litter of one to four cubs. Newborn cubs are blind and don’t open their eyes for roughly a week after birth. They begin walking by three weeks of age and remain with their mothers in isolation until they are six to eight weeks old before being introduced to the rest of the pride. Even after introductions, mothers are still the main caregivers and teachers.The Zoo staff is keeping fingers and toes crossed that we will soon have lion cubs to ogle over and bring a boost of Zoo visitors. The lions are on exhibit daily and are available for ADOPTion

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Pueblo Zoo  • 3455 Nuckolls Ave.  •  Pueblo, CO 81005  

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