Entrance to El Paso Zoo - Photo Courtesy of El Paso Zoo
El Paso Zoo

El Paso Zoo & Botanical Gardens Animal Enrichment Check Presentation and Unveiling

The El Paso Zoo & Botanical Gardens is receiving a generous donation from the Downtown Lions Club for new enrichment toys for the lions. Zookeepers are utilizing the new enrichment toys to assist with the lion breeding process.  

The male lion, Hodari arrived at the El Paso Zoo on November 8, 2021, and is slated to breed with one of the two female lions. His transfer to the zoo was made possible by the El Paso Downtown Lions Club who held a pecan fundraiser to secure a $5,000 donation. The Lions Club has gone a step further and donated an additional $2,000 to purchase buy lion enrichment (toys) for the exhibit.

“The hope is that when Hodari is out and plays with these items the female lions will follow him and they will exchange scents and accept him into the pride,” said El Paso Zoo Director Joe Montisano. “The introduction and integration of these powerful animals is a slow process that takes time and at this time the female lions do not like Hodari. Hopefully these enrichment items provide by the Downtown Lions Club will help speed up that process.”

“We hope these new enrichments can help with the lion introductions and eventually we will have a lion cub for the Zoo and the citizen of El Paso” said President of the Downtown Lions Club Marc Aimklov.

Hodari joined his fellow African lionesses, Zari and Malaika, as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP’s mission is to conserve species such as the African lion.

The El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens was recently voted the Best Family Friendly Outing/ Kid Zone by the El Paso Inc. Magazine. To learn more about the El Paso Zoo, visit www.elpasozoo.org.


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