This is my last post and pictures of the African Lions who have been at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg here. The pair and their 2 month old cub have been sent home to Ontario.
I had been hoping to get pictures of the cub when I was there earlier this month, but the cub was nowhere to be found, although both of the adults were out enjoying the sunshine. I found out later that the cub had been pulled from them because the mom was unable to nurse him. The baby was kept in the zoo hospital and was well looked after until the lions were sent away a couple of days ago.
I had been aware that the African Lions were just on loan while the zoo was waiting for the Asian Lions to arrive. The Asian boys are now here and will be on display in a couple of weeks, once the enclosure is all cleaned and upgraded for the new arrivals.
This is the only Asian Lion pair (even though they are both males – brothers) that are on display in North America. They apparently have smaller manes and are smaller than their African cousins. I’m going to miss the African pair though, as they have grown up here. My first pictures show the male with a very small mane, so he has really matured since they arrived.
Construction is taking up a large part of the zoo now. I had no idea that the Journey to Churchill would be so large. Right now a lot of area that used to have animals has been demolished and the animals have been moved to another location in the zoo or have left completely.
The Black Bears are vacationing in Alberta and will be back once their new home is ready. We do have a couple Black Bear cubs, but for some reason, the zoo is planning on releasing one (Makoon) into the wild at only 5 months of age, which seems too young for him to survive. The other one will be sent to another zoo at some time. I have no idea how or why they have decided the difference in the 2 cubs. They were both born in the wild, but one will live in captivity and one will probably perish at a very early age in the wild.
I am not up to date on any happenings with this, but I do know there is an online petition to convince Manitoba officials to send Makoon to a sanctuary in Ontario, where he could be kept for an additional year before being released. This would give him a much better chance to survive. The release is currently planned for June this year. Click here to see more information on this and find a link to the petition.
My bear cub pictures are not great, since I had to take them through the bars of the cage he or she was in, but they are somewhat in focus in a couple of pictures. The camera prefers to focus on the thick chain link instead of what is in between the links.