Riverbanks Zoo Welcomes Two New Lions

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - Riverbanks Zoo is welcoming two female lions to its den! 

The zoo made the announcement on its Facebook page Wednesday.

The two female lions, Lindelani and Thabisa, are 2-year-old sisters from Fort Worth Zoo in Texas.

Lindelani and Thabisa came to Riverbanks as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) African Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) program following the death of Riverbanks’ female lion in February. The program provides breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to help ensure the survival of endangered wildlife. 

Zoo officials say the lions, who were first introduced to their new habitat last week, will spend the next several months on and off exhibit exhibit, getting adjusted to their new surroundings.

The introduction process is divided into two stages and could take several months. The first stage is getting the lions acclimated to their new habitat. The second stage involves introductions between the females and male.

The three lions will be on exhibit together once the animals are all comfortable with each other and are living cohesively as a family unit. Zoo officials say they expect the lion sisters to remain at Riverbanks for quite some time. 

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