Melbourne Zoo’s Lion brothers celebrate milestone

12 December 2019

Friday the 13th is seen as an unlucky date by superstitious folk, but it’s the complete opposite for Melbourne Zoo’s two African lions.

Lucky brothers Zuberi and Ndidi, are celebrating the day by transitioning into adulthood. The pair turn three years old tomorrow (December 13) and they aren’t letting any superstitions get in the way of celebrating the very special occasion.

The majestic duo have been having a roaring good time in the lead up to the milestone this week, devouring a variety of meaty treats.

They also engaged with one of their favourite enrichment devices, which is designed to stimulate play and encourage natural behaviours.

Melbourne Zoo Carnivores and Ungulates Life Sciences Manager Justin Valentine said Zuberi and Ndidi were now hitting their prime age as lions, which is visually reflected through their physical features.

“This time last year, the boys were only just beginning to develop their manes, but one year on, their manes have really grown,” Mr Valentine said.

Zoos Victoria is part of a regional breeding program that exists to maintain a genetically-diverse population of the species in the fight against extinction.

The lion brothers arrived at Melbourne Zoo from Werribee Open Range Zoo in December last year.

African Lions are classified as Vulnerable and their population is in a state of decline, with an estimated 23,000-39,000 of the species remaining in the wild.

Zoos Victoria is part of a regional breeding program that exists to maintain a genetically-diverse population of the species in the fight against extinction.

You can help Zoos Victoria conserve the wild lion population by purchasing Beads for Wildlife products from Melbourne Zoo or via its website.

Visitors can see Melbourne Zoo’s African Lions, Zuberi and Ndidi, for their birthday tomorrow or any day other day of the year from 9am-5pm, seven days a week.