Archive: Celebrate World Lion Day at the Detroit Zoo August 10

Fun learning activities in store for the whole pride

August 6, 2018

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The king of the jungle will be the center of attention on Friday, August 10, as the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) celebrates World Lion Day at the Detroit Zoo. Fun learning activities and zookeeper talks at the lion habitat will showcase these charismatic creatures and include stories of big cats finding sanctuary at the Zoo.

“The Detroit Zoological Society has a long history of providing sanctuary to exotic animals in need of rescue, including African lions Erin and Simba,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO. “This event allows us to celebrate these remarkable animals while sharing important information about the dangers of the exotic pet trade.”

The Detroit Zoo is home to Erin, a 17-year-old lioness rescued from a junkyard in Kansas in 2009, and Simba, a 9-year old lion once owned by the royal family of Qatar. He found a new palace at the Detroit Zoo in 2012 after the family discovered they were unable to care for the dangerous animal.

“Individuals who choose to keep exotic animals as pets often do not understand the specialized – and expensive – care required to meet their physical and psychological needs,” Kagan said. “These animals suffer as a result of poor care and obviously pose a deadly threat to those around them.”

Zookeeper talks on World Lion Day will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., sharing fun facts about the species. Educational elements will focus on the stories of Erin and Simba and the importance of making appropriate pet choices. Hands-on activities will include crafts for children and opportunities for guests to examine lion claws and teeth.

Fewer than 20,000 lions exist in sub-Saharan Africa and a small isolated population in western India. Lions formerly ranged throughout Africa and parts of Europe. They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to poaching, habitat degradation and a decrease in prey populations.