Imani, the St. Louis Zoo’s two-and-a-half-month-old African lion cub, will be exploring a play habitat outdoors. The temporary play space is one of the snow leopard habitats, which is just the right size for a young lion cub that is just beginning to climb and pounce.
“It will be a gradual learning experience for Imani as she is introduced to one of the smaller outdoor habitats,” says Steve Bircher, curator of mammals. “When she gets a little older and more comfortable outdoors we plan to introduce her to the lion habitat.” The cub was moved from the veterinary hospital to the area called Big Cat Country several weeks ago. She now weighs 24 pounds, eats two pounds of meat a day, and is doing very well. While still being cared for by her keepers, she is gradually being introduced to her mother Cabara and father Ingozi through mesh or a “howdy gate” behind the scenes. The staff hopes to reintroduce the cub and mother sometime in the future.
“Imani is a playful and energetic cub who seems to enjoy the company of both her parents as well as the carnivore keepers who have been caring for her over the past couple months,” says Bircher.
At this time, there is no date set for a public debut in the lion habitat. You can read more about Imani a our previous post HERE.