The Maryland Zoo In Baltimore announced two of it's newest arrivals, "Badu," a two-year-old African lioness (Panthera leo) and Kesi, a two-year-old reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). Badu (Baa-dew) - pictured - arrived at the Zoo in July from the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin. After her initial 30-day quarantine, Badu was moved to the lion night quarters to begin acclimating to her new home. For some animals the acclimation process is fairly quick, but lions can be very aggressive, so we are taking the introduction of Badu to both Cuma and Hassan very slowly, said Mike McClure, general curator. Badu is very comfortable in the exhibit on her own, and we will continue with animal introductions behind the scenes with a goal of having all three lions together as a pride in a few months. The animal transfer to the Zoo was the result of a recommendations from the Lion Species Survival Plans (SSPs) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the captive population and the health of individual animals. Currently there are approximately 600 giraffe and 220 African lions in AZA-accredited zoos throughout the United States. Badu's presence in the lion yard will not be as predictable. She will be on-and-off exhibit as she is introduced to both Cuma and Hassan -- that schedule shifts daily based on a variety of factors.
Photo courtesy Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
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