Three lions have a home at the Roosevelt Park Zoo

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 8:26 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – The Roosevelt Park Zoo family has grown by three. A trio of African lions are settling into their new homes in Minot.

Kiota has been the only one of its kind at the Roosevelt Park Zoo for about a year.

“Our female died last spring and we’ve started thinking about what we’re going to do with Kiota, our male,” said Emily Clauson, a zookeeper at the Roosevelt Park Zoo.

The zoo ended up getting two sisters, Tadala and Iola, from the African Lion Survival Species Plan. These newcomers will be separated from Kiota.

“It’s for his own safety. The new females we got in are two years old, so they are spunky and sassy,” said Clauson.

Clauson said the sisters probably won’t be introduced to 17-year-old Kiota.

“He’s an old guy,” said Clauson.

African lions’ can live into their late teens. Clauson said in the wild, the way lions usually interact is one male per group, or pride.

“Lions are one of the only social cats, so they’re pretty cool. They have a cool social dynamic that most cats don’t have,” said Clauson.

Asani, the two-year-old male, will be introduced to the sisters, but not Kiota.

“The two males talk back and forth, oftentimes throughout the day. They can hear each other, and they can smell each other,” said Clauson.

These new lions have never seen snow before, so they will stay in a climate-controlled environment and they will be introduced to one another when the weather warms up.

If you want to see the lions, the zoo is open 10-3 weekdays and Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays.