Pride at Predator Rock
|Director of Communications and Social Media|
Pride at Predator Rock
Big cat fans are roaring with praise as lions return to the Dallas Zoo. The five majestic felines are joining two cheetahs at Predator Rock in Giants of the Savanna. Worthy of the king of beasts, the new habitat offers two grassy habitats, as well as an encounter area where zookeepers can demonstrate how they care for the large African cats.
“Predator Rock was designed to showcase the natural behaviors of lions and cheetahs,” said Gregg Hudson, executive director of the Dallas Zoo and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. “The cats can explore three different spaces in the rotational habitat, and zookeepers will interpret their actions for guests.”
The lions came from two zoos to live as a pride in Dallas. Kamaia and Dinari are brothers. They live with Lina, Jasiri, and Johari, who are all sisters.
“The boys are rock stars, in regard to training,” said Keith Zdrojewski, supervisor of the savanna hoofstock and carnivores. “They are adventurous and exploring their yards. The females are cautious and reclusive right now.”
Zookeepers began training the cats with basic commands to come, sit, lie, stand, and just recognize their names. Once those behaviors are mastered, then they teach the lions to open their mouths for dental exams or lean against the fence for injections.
“We ask a lot of the cats,” Zdrojewski explained. “When training, we want them to think and move throughout the day. In exchange, we provide them with a lot of choices. They have sun, shade, grass, trees, logs for scratching posts, and places to go if they just want to get away from people.”
The lions live next-door to the world’s fastest land mammals — cheetahs. Kisutu is a cautious mother. Her son, Bonde, resides with her in a habitat that is mostly surrounded by windows. The cats can often be found lounging on top of a hill.
Their climate-controlled holding area features pools for drinking, logs for scratching, and hooks with springs for holding treats or toys they can jump to reach. The cats will alternate between the various holding areas, as well as exhibit spaces, in order to keep things interesting.
About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is the largest zoological experience in Texas featuring a 106-acre park, thousands of animals, and an education department that offers programs for all ages. The official airline of the Dallas Zoo is American Airlines. The Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis). Admission is $15 for ages 12-64, $12 for ages 3-11 and 65+, and free for ages 2 and younger and Dallas Zoological Society (DZS) members. The Zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, download the free iPhone app, visit DallasZoo.com, or call 469.554.7500.
About the Giants of the Savann: Take a trip on an African Safari at the Dallas Zoo. The Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna habitat, open since May 2010, provides an interactive experience for our guests built around the many different species of animals that will call the Giants of the Savanna home: elephants, giraffes, impalas, zebras, ostriches, lions, warthogs, red river hogs, guinea fowl, and cheetahs. Learn more about these animals while experiencing the unique aspects of their new habitat firsthand. As the summer unfolds and the animals adjust to their new home, each visit will be a unique experience.
# # #