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Woodland Park Zoo’s four lion cubs moving to other zoos as part of conservation breeding program

Woodland Park’s Zoo’s four lion cubs, brothers Pelo and Rudo and sisters Busela and Nobuhle, are moving to new zoos to meet new mates as part of the Species Survival Plan, a conservation breeding program to increase genetic diversity.


Photo courtesy Woodland Park Zoo.

Pelo has already arrived at his new home at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin.

“It’s common for young male lions to begin to separate from the pride, so Pelo’s absence comes as no surprise to his three siblings and mother Adia who are still here at Woodland Park Zoo,” says Martin Ramirez, the zoo’s mammal curator. “Plans are in the works with El Paso Zoo in Texas to become the new home of Rudo, while Busela and Nobuhle will move together to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City in March.”

The cubs’ father, Hubert, and his mate, Kalisa, will be heading to Los Angeles Zoo together in February. A Woodland Park Zoo keeper and staff from the LA Zoo will accompany the bonded pair during their travels to ensure a safe arrival and comfortable adjustment.

The cubs’ mother will be introduced to a new mate from El Paso Zoo in March, in the hopes of another successful cub birth.