Zulu and Masai, Arusha And Vilma
Zulu and Masai the African Lions have now been joined by Arusha and Vilma the lionesses!
Zulu and Masai were born on 16th May 2009 at Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire and moved to Noah's Ark in February 2010. They lived here with their sister Louisa until she reached maturity and moved to Longleat to start a new pride of her own. In 2012 Louisa had cubs of her own at Longleat.
Arusha and Vilma the lionesses arrived at Noah's Ark on 30th May 2013 from Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Oxon. Arusha is soon to celebrate her 3rd birthday, with younger sister Vilma 2 years old. The beautiful feline pair are sisters from the same parents, but different litters.
We will pair our lions and lionesses together in the future and expect them to breed here at Noah's Ark.
Watch Arusha and Vilma explore their new home yesterday in the sun.
A distinctive feature of the species, the mane of the adult male lion makes him appear larger and is used to intimidate other big cats in confrontation. Female lions prefer males with the densest, darkest mane. The mane also provides insulation.
Lions usually hunt in co-ordinated groups and stalk their prey, which is usually killed by strangulation. Usual prey includes wildebeest, impalas, zebras, buffalo and warthogs. They also scavenge from dead carcasses.
Lions spend much of their time resting and are inactive for 20 hours per day. Activity generally peaks after dusk with a period of socialising, grooming and defecating. Lions exhibit intermittent burst of activity throughout the night until dawn, when most hunting takes place.