Pride and joy: Brevard Zoo welcomes trio of lions

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Brevard Zoo visitors will soon have a new mane event to add to their itineraries: visiting the zoo’s new pride and joy — a trio of lions.

The three 2-year-old lions are brothers, brought to the zoo on Wednesday from Naples Zoo. They will make their debut to the public on Sunday.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Zoo officials said the relocation was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which suggests animal pairings and moves with the goal of ensuring healthy, genetically diverse animal populations in AZA-accredited zoos.

READ: ‘Retirement homes’ set up to care for older animals at Brevard Zoo

In the wild, zoo officials said male cubs would remain with their pride until they are around 2-3 years old before they leave to form a new pride or take over an existing one. They said this move helps replicate this natural behavior.

“This move allows their parents to possibly breed again and gives the trio a home until they are also paired with potential mates,” officials said.

Photos: Brevard Zoo welcomes trio of lions

The zoo said the lions’ temporary habitat will be in the zoo’s Wild Florida loop while a permanent living space is built in Expedition Africa. The habitat is outfitted with large platforms, plenty of trees for safe climbing and a large enrichment device for them to play with.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.