NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Zoo has announced that their new lion, Ansel, can now be seen by visitors.
Born at the the Henry Vilas Zoo, Ansel has traveled from Madison, Wisconsin to arrive in Norfolk, Virginia.
Upon arrival in Norfolk, Ansel underwent a routine quarantine period where he spent time getting acquainted with his Zoo Keepers and where staff could closely monitor him to ensure a comfortable adjustment period to his new surroundings prior to being introduced onto exhibit.
“Not only are we excited to bring in this young family of lions, but we are also delighted at the prospect of having cubs in the near future which is crucial to the long-term survival of this species,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo.
Ansel is 5-years-old, considered fully grown, and weighs in at 450 pounds. According to Zookeepers, his most identifying features are his stout frame and his beautiful, full-bodied mane.
Joining Ansel in the exhibit, later this month, is two female lion sisters who will be turning 5 at the end of April.
Africa Keepers and the Zoo’s Exhibit Project Coordinator made modifications and improvements to the lion indoor spaces and habitat before the new lions arrived.
Once the female lions arrive and complete their quarantine period, the Zoo will host a House Warming Party for the newcomers with Keeper Chats, enrichment, educational activities and a fundraiser to support lion conservation.
Find out more here.