Zoo introduces lions, hopes for cubs

March 4, 2009 4:52:30 PM PST
They're just getting to know each other right now, but Brookfield Zoo hopes Isis and Zenda will fall in love.The young lions went through an 8-month introduction indoor. They're just now getting to explore the outdoors together, where cardboard boxes are their favorite toys.

"We've been slowly introducing Zenda and Isis. We start with a visual intro so they can actually look at each other through the mesh cages," said Christy Mazrimas-Ott, senior keeper Brookfield Zoo.

Zenda is a two and a half year old male African lion who has been at Brookfield since May. Isis is three and a half. She's been there for a year.

Isis is the first female lion at Brookfield Zoo in 15 years. She seems to be getting along fine with her playmate. Their area is filled with toys to get them to play. And, they spray perfume around the exhibit.

"They smell it and they'll start rubbing on it and stuff," said Mazrimas-Ott. "Yeah it's like catnip."

Cats of all sizes like the minty aroma, and, in turn, they like each other more. But not so fast- it'll be at least two years until Zenda can become a father.

"Considering how they're reacting right now there should be no problem," said Mazrimas-Ott. "Yes, definitely cubs in the future."

But, for now it's just a cat and mouse game- with a cat and a cat.