Woodland Park Zoo received a 1-year-old female South African lion, named Adia, from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in early November. Adia has been quarantined for the standard 30 days, and will undergo a full physical on Wednesday before her quarantine is over.
Photo by Grahm Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Named Adia (AH-dee-uh), which means “gift” in Swahili, the new lion arrived under a recommendation by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions. She will be paired for breeding with the zoo’s 11-year-old male lion when she reaches sexual maturity next fall. After clearing quarantine, Adia will be introduced gradually to the zoo’s award-winning African Savanna where she will rotate on exhibit. The male currently lives with another female, 11 years old.
All three lions belong to the South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. Known as the Transvaal lion, it ranges in Southern Sahara to South Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest belt, in grassy plains, savanna and open woodlands.
The lion is perhaps the most iconographic of all the African savanna species. Their presence on the savanna immeasurably increases eco-tourism. In zoos, they help demonstrate the interdependency of all species. Although not endangered, African lions face an uncertain future, primarily due to the growth in human population. Poachers hunt lions for trophies and because they pose a threat to humans and livestock.