DENVER (CBS4) — The Denver Zoo is welcoming a new African lion that is expected to makes his public debut in a few weeks. “Tobias” is a 2-year-old male that has been living at the Buffalo Zoo.

Tobias the African lion (credit: Denver Zoo)

The move was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). It’s hoped that Tobias could become a mate for 3-year-old Kamara and 6-year-old Neliah. African lions are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

“If all goes well, we’ll hopefully have a successful match with at least one of the females, which could mean lion cubs within the next couple years,” said Assistant Curator of Predators Matt Lenyo.

Tobias is being kept behind the scenes as he completes a mandatory 30-day quarantine, zoo officials said. Once he’s cleared, he’ll be introduced to the other lions in the Predator Ridge exhibit.

Tobias the African lion (credit: Denver Zoo)

“Tobias is already showing signs that he’s feeling right at home at the Zoo—he’s acclimating to his new surroundings and participating in training sessions with our care team,” Lenyo said.

His public debut is currently scheduled for the week of Jan. 21.

More information about Tobias and Denver Zoo’s role in the African lion SSP: http://bit.ly/2RlouHp

 

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