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Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo's Newest Arrivals Ready to Roar

17 December 2018

Melbourne Zoo has twice as many reasons to roar now that it has welcomed two lion boys from Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Brothers Zuberi and Ndidi were relocated to Parkville from Werribee this week after older siblings Kashka, Kubwa and Kito moved to Monarto Open Range Zoo in South Australia as part of a regional captive breeding program.

Melbourne Zoo Carnivores Precinct Coordinator Beth Geraldene said the team was excited to welcome the new lion boys, after learning about their personalities from the Werribee Zoo team.

Ndidi is the more boisterous of the two, and is quick and eager to respond to training that harnesses his clever mind.

Zuberi, on the other hand, is sweet in nature, gentle in his approach to most things, remaining calm and focused during training sessions.

“Ndidi and Zuberi are only just starting to develop their manes and still have a lot of growing to do,” said Ms Geraldene. “We are excited to watch these boys grow and can't wait to start fostering a strong trusting relationship that will allow us to accelerate their training program.”

The brothers underwent extensive crate training prior to their move to ensure they would be comfortable on the journey from Werribee to Melbourne.

To help them settle into their new home at Melbourne Zoo, the boys received a special birthday treat from the Werribee Zoo volunteers in the form oversized enrichment presents.

Zuberi and Ndidi were the second litter of lion cubs to be born at WORZ to first-time mother Nairibi and second-time father Johari. Their parents and sisters are part of the pride at Werribee Open Range Zoo.  

Both Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo have a proud history of caring for African lions.

African lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist, meaning their population – estimated at between 20,000 and 40,000 mature adults in the wild - is declining.

Zoos Victoria participates in the regional breeding programs, designed to ensure captive populations display generic diversity and buffer against any further decline in wild populations