No Asian lions for Winnipeg zoo
Planning to welcome African cats, instead
Winnipeg Free Press By Carol Sanders
WONDERING where the Asian lions are?
Well, the pair the Assiniboine Park Zoo was preparing to welcome this summer aren't coming.
"Although we did our best to enter the Asian lion breeding programs in Europe and India, we were informed there is a waiting list of dozens of zoos ahead of us," zoo spokesman Dr. Bob Wrigley said.
"The animals are so rare, and the breeding so carefully controlled among participant zoos, that it will likely be many years before we are selected."
Now, the zoo is planning to get some equally majestic, albeit less-rare and exotic, African lions, he said.
There are just 350 Asiatic lions left in the wild -- all of them in the Gir National Park and Lion Sanctuary in northern India.
The animals were almost wiped out by sport hunting over the last two centuries, the Asiatic Lion Information Centre reports.
When the lion hunt was outlawed in the 1900s, the greatest threat came from the destruction of habitat. Vast tracts of jungle forest were cleared for timber to sell and to make way for the increasing human population. To bolster the endangered Asiatic lion population, co-operative inter-zoo breeding programs were set up. In 1990, two Asiatic lion couples from India were brought to the London Zoo, the Asiatic Lion Information Centre said. Zoos in Zurich and Helsinki received lions in 1991 and 1992 respectively. By the end of 1996 some 12 zoos were participating in the Asiatic lion breeding program. Ten years later, there were 99 lions at 36 zoos, the information centre said.
The Zoological Society of Manitoba was hoping Winnipeg's zoo might be the first in North America to house Asiatic lions.
Last year, it decided to spend $1 million to convert the unused 20-year-old panda bear enclosure into a home for Asian lions. It was seen as an investment in promoting conservancy and education, and a way to boost zoo attendance. The warm-weather cats needed space to roam and a cosy abode in cold winters. Later this spring, the renovated panda pad will house a pair of African lions, said Wrigley. "...We have made great progress on the lion exhibit -- including the indoor exhibit area, a beautiful interpretive space and renovations to the outside enclosure."
Around five years ago, the zoo had some African lions who had cubs. Nearly half a million visitors flocked to the zoo to see the king of beasts. They are no longer at the zoo. "I believe the new lions will be a real hit," he said.
- ► 2018 (90)
- ► 2017 (156)
- ► 2016 (128)
- ► 2015 (165)
- ► 2014 (139)
- ► 2013 (308)
- ► 2012 (493)
- ► 2011 (296)
- ROARING NUMBERS Gujarat’s pride: Lion count touche...
- Two leopards caught from Veraval, Rajula
- Local pride leaves India's lions at risk
- ‘Photography helped eliminate duplication’
- Forest dept officials move in AC cars to count lio...
- Lion census becomes picnic for senior foresters’ f...
- Fund crunch blocks move to shift Maldharis from Gi...
- Lion census in Gir concludes
- Lion census: Number may touch 400
- Forest Dept expects rise in Gir lion population
- He forced govt to take notice of 56 illegal mines ...
- Lion census starts, king is doing fine
- GOLDEN REIGN OF LION KING!
- This Gir village to run on the sun
- Children of Kankranch village in Liliya taluka pla...
- Lion census at Gir from Apr 24
- Docs, anti-heat kits for lion census volunteers
- Gir lion count to be declared on Gujarat Day
- Leopard attack farm labour
- Lion census: 200 cameras to scan Gir
- Lion population Estimation from 24th April
- Leopard that attacked criminal, caught
- Leopard skin trade mastermind nabbed
- Leopard helps cops nab wanted extortionist
- Handicapped man attacked by leopard, killed on Gir...
- 1300 volunteers and experts to spot the lion king
- In 72 hours, the lion king will be enumerated
- Within 18 months before Lion census
- Lion leopard attack at 40 km away from Gir forest
- Two leopard cubs found abandoned in field
- Leopard skin traders released on bail
- FSL Van for crime detection in Gir
- Gir lions to be mapped using GPS
- 40 Lions have not seen the Jungle!
- No Asian lions for Winnipeg zoo Planning to welcom...
- Mock-Drill of Lion Census
- Road passing through blackbuck park to be blocked
- 15 peacocks found dead in state
- Inter-state gang may be active in Sabarkantha
- Dead leopard’s nails recovered in Sabarkantha
- Leopards were killed with blunt weapons
- Govt employee among leopard skin traders
- African primitive tribe Siddi, will be eco-guide a...
- Gujarat’s Gir lion monopoly faces fresh threat
- Gujarat's Gir lion monopoly faces fresh threat
- Lion census to cover 10,000 sq km
- Digital cameras to help count lion population
- Lion census from April 24, count could go beyond 4...
- MASTERMIND ON THE RUN Leopard skin trade: Cops to ...
- Lion Census at Gir sanctuary from April 22
- Six-day remand for four caught with leopard skin i...
- Partner in cage, leopardess stays put outside
- If 10 Gir lions die annually anyway, give 5 to us:...
- A daring operation led to arrests
- 4 held with leopard skin in Sabarkantha
- Centre to give away Rs.5000 crore to States for fo...
- Female Leopard barging head with cage having male ...
- Lepard that attacked young man caught
- ▼ April 2010 (58)
- ► 2009 (316)
- ► 2008 (342)
- ► 2007 (254)