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New lion exhibit at Great Plains Zoo coming soon

todayMay 28, 2024 3

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A long-awaited project at the Great Plains Zoo is finally coming to fruition. With construction for their new lion enclosure nearly complete, the stars of the exhibit have arrived.

Simba and Amahle will be the first lions at the Great Plains Zoo in more than 30 years, but for now, caregivers are working on getting them acclimated to their new environment.

“These lions that we have here are very new. So far, what we’re doing is just really getting to know them, getting them comfortable here,” Great Plains Zoo carnivore supervisor Angie Blommer said.

Once the lions are officially open to the public in late June, they will be housed in one of the most impressive enclosures on the continent.

“It’s one of the largest lion exhibits that you’re going to find in North America, so we’re very excited because we did design this to be a very species specific type of design to encourage whole life care for the animals,” Great Plains Zoo CEO Becky Dewitz said.

Summer Meal Program adds enrichment activities

Staff also hopes the exhibit creates a better experience for zoo goers.

“I really want people to enjoy watching them. I want people to really care for them but just have fun, have fun watching these new animals. Because if they’re having fun, we should be having fun, too,” Blommer said.

And, the zoo hopes the enclosure can be home to even more lions in the future.

“We hope someday they’ll make babies, but it’s not as easy as just saying, ‘hey, make babies’ because we want to see them, but, you know, fingers crossed we will have some cubs someday,” Blommer said.

The ribbon cutting for the lion enclosure is set for June 28.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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