African Lion Awareness Weekend

Famous for its conservation and education efforts, the Indianapolis Zoo is an important addition to Indianapolis culture. Its promotion and awareness of global wildlife and nature issues help Indianapolis people to be more responsive to an international climate of wildlife protection. June 19 and 20, 2010, the Indianapolis Zoo celebrates African Lion Awareness Weekend, an Indianapolis event geared towards educating about an important species. Included in the price of admission to the Indianapolis Zoo, African Lion Awareness Weekend presents in depth information about the lions housed at the Indianapolis Zoo, as well as lions who live in the wild.

Did you know that the average male lion is four feet tall and can be anywhere from five to eight feet long, making them second only to the tiger as the largest living feline species? With a top speed of 50 miles per hour (for short distances), these kings of the jungle have a life span of between ten and fourteen years. Their diet is filled with a variety of prey including wildebeest, impala, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and wild hogs. Some ambitious felines even feast on hippos and rhinos. They live in large groups called “prides,” which can consist of upwards of fifteen lions. An extremely social animal, lions pass the time through affectionate touching, rubbing, licking, purring and even playing.

Since the early 1950s, the population of these majestic creatures has been reduced by half, with only 21,000 remaining in the wild of Africa today. Though they use to roam all parts of the continent, lions are currently relegated to the Sahara desert and parts of southern and eastern Africa. Historically, lions have been found in Greece through the Middle East and even into northern India. But today, their small numbers and dwindling territory leave them in imminent danger of being extinct. With threats like global warming and an indirect effect of co-infection, lions face periodic outbreaks of disease and distemper, which lead to massive die offs in short periods of time.

This weekend the Indianapolis Zoo invites guest to discover more about lions around the world at African Lion Awareness Weekend. Get information on the three lions housed at the Zoo: lionesses Zuri and Shamfa and a new male lion Nyack. Learn what they eat, how they play and how zoo keepers tell them apart during chats in front of the Zoo’s African Lion exhibit at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Keepers will field any and all questions and share lion artifacts such as a lion pelt or skull and lion toys that enrich the lives of the Zoo’s mini pride.

In addition, during African Lion Awareness Week, parents can have free official photo identification cards made for their Indianapolis kids at the Plains entrance Saturday, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Sunday, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Plus, Harris Bank will be on hand all weekend offering great prizes to be won. And get your picture taken with the Indianapolis Zoo’s lion mascot, Kiburi, and Harris Bank’s lion mascot, Hubert.

During your visit to the Indianapolis Zoo this weekend, be sure to check out the Cheetah: The Race for Survival and the seasonal Butterfly exhibit near the White River Gardens. With prime Indianapolis real estate in Indianapolis downtown, the Indianapolis Zoo is located near a host of other Indianapolis attractions such as the White River State Park, the Indianapolis Canal Walk, the Eitlejorg Museum and the Indiana State Museum.

After your trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, treat yourself and your kids to a cool treat at any of these Indianapolis restaurants. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis theatre to Indianapolis sports and everything in between. Get out in Indy and find some fun! Make the Circle City your playground!

African Lion Awareness Weekend
June 19 and 20, 2010

The Indianapolis Zoo
1200 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46222

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