by Photo by Ken Bohn, courtesy of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Three lionesses made the San Diego Zoo Safari Park their home this week after moving from Caldwell Zoo in Texas. 

The 8-year-old female African lions Malika, Zuri, and Amira are the great-grand cubs of the Safari Park’s beloved male lion Izu and lioness Mina, according to Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Izu and Mina lived in Safari Park for 18 years. 

“Our wildlife care team has worked very hard to get them comfortable in their new home, and they were so pleased they are settling in so well. We invite our guests to visit these majestic lions during their Safari Park Visit, and hope everyone who visits will be inspired to learn about and gain an appreciation for this magnificent species,” Peterson said. 

Wildlife care specialists said the three lions curiously explored their new home at Lion Camp. The sister lions were shy but later gained confidence and grew comfortable with their surroundings. 

“While the lions acclimate to their surroundings, they will have access to the outdoor habitat, as well as an indoor, off-view area. The lionesses may not be visible to guests at times they choose to be indoors,” the San Diego Zoo Safari Park wrote in a news release. 

Safari Park officials credit the lionesses’ safe arrival to “much planning and collaboration between the dedicated wildlife care teams at the Caldwell Zoo, who have cared for the lions since birth, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park”. Both zoos followed a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designated to help maintain a healthy, genetically diverse assurance population of species, and manage populations in facilities. 

“it is such a privilege to care for these lionesses,” said Miranda Cays, wildlife care specialist for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “They are incredible animals, and we are so pleased to be able to share them with our guests.” 

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African lion populations are declining largely due to habitat loss, issues that threaten human-wildlife coexistence, poaching, and wildlife trafficking.

To learn more, or to plan a visit to the Safari Park, visit

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