May 26, 2023

New male African lion arrives at Kansas zoo

Posted May 26, 2023 12:30 AM
Oskar, the new male African lion at Pride of the Prairie. Photo courtesy Rolling Hills Zoo
Oskar, the new male African lion at Pride of the Prairie. Photo courtesy Rolling Hills Zoo

SALINE COUNTY —Oskar, a new male African lion has completed his 30-day quarantine and is joining the pride’s nine-year-old female sisters, Zalika and Kamali at Rolling Hills Zoo.

Initially the male and females will be kept separate as they get to know one another. During the first few days Oskar will be adjusting to his new home.

It may take time before he is comfortable leaving his sleeping quarters, so we ask our guests to be patient and kind with him. Once he is ready, you will find him in the day room while the females are outside, rotating daily to allow each time outside while they get to know each other.

This “dating” process will take time, but once the keepers feel comfortable with putting them together, they will do so. At birth Oskar was really shy, but once he came out of his shell he became very playful and confident.

After making the move to Rolling Hills Zoo, Oskar is still a little hesitant of new things and is taking his time to check out his environment and warming up to new people.

Born at the Denver Zoo in 2020, Oskar was one of two in his litter. His mother, Kamara, and father, Tobias, along with his sister, Araali, still reside at the Denver Zoo. There, his pride consisted of seven lions, four females and three males.

His half-brother, Tatu (both offspring of Tobias), recently made the move to the Topeka Zoo. At three years of age, Oskar is just reaching sexual maturity and unlikely to breed until the age of four or five. His favorite enrichment items include phone books, zoo Kongs and scents.

“Oskar really enjoys shredding paper and cardboard boxes, and loves rhino hay, rolling around in it and getting all stinky,” according to Siarra Abker, RHZ Vet Tech. “Motivated by food, Oskar is eager to train and happy to do anything his keepers ask.”“While still trying to prove he is a big tough lion to everyone, as well as himself, Oskar is a sweetheart and enjoys spending time with his keepers, but only on his terms,” shared Abker.