New lion joins Pueblo Zoo animal family

(PUEBLO, Colo.) — The Pueblo Zoo announced on its social media on Wednesday, April 24, that it is welcoming a new male African lion named Khari to its exhibits.

Khari is three years old and came to the Pueblo Zoo from the Buffalo Zoo to be a companion for its 17-year-old female, Mashavu.

According to a spokesperson for the Pueblo Zoo, Mashavu has been at the zoo for many years and had four cubs with their previous male lion, Taz Jahari. Unfortunately, when Taz Jahari passed away in January at the age of 21, Mashavu was left without a companion.

The staff at the Pueblo Zoo are excited to have Khari join Mashavu, but the process will take some time. For now, Khari is in quarantine, which can last up to 30 days, depending on the species, and he can be seen on the patio of the lion exhibit.

Once the quarantine is over, the keepers will begin the process of officially introducing Khari and Mashavu. They will start with scheduling some “howdy’s”, where the lions will be put close to each other, but not together, so they can get used to the sounds, scents, and sight of each other. They will also begin rotating pens, so they adapt to being in each other’s spaces, and eventually, when the keepers decide they are ready, they will share the space.

Those wishing to welcome Khari to the Pueblo community can visit the zoo daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of April, and beginning in May, the zoo will remain open daily until 5 p.m. through October.

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