Utica Zoo Breeds More Lions for Life in Cages

Utica Zoo announces newest resident – baby lion cub

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) – There’s a new resident at the Utica Zoo – a baby lion cub named “Donovan.”

Born to parents Bakari (8 years old) and Monni (7 years old), who were both on loan to the Zoo for the purpose of breeding in November 2010, the male cub was born on May 11, 2011.

Baby “Donovan” weighed in at four pounds upon his birth, gaining quite a bit in the roughly month and a half since, currently weighing in at 18 pounds.

Donovan will receive his first set of vaccinations next week at the age of 8 weeks old, with a second set slated for the beginning of August. The cub will then be viewable on exhibit after the proper course of vaccinations. Zoo officials hope that the exhibit will open to the public in early August.

At a press conference held Monday afternoon, Jerome Donovan, son of the late Senator James H. Donovan, spoke. More than 20 years ago, Senator Donovan obtained funding for the original Siberian Tiger exhibit. That exhibit was dedicated to his memory shortly after the senator’s death.

Now that the two Siberian Tigers who had called that exhibit their home are deceased, the Utica Zoo decided to convert the exhibit to one featuring African Lions.

“Given Senator Donovan’s long association with the zoo and interest in the conservation of endangered wildlife we made a commitment that we would underwrite the cost of improvements to the Big Cat Exhibit,” Jerome Donovan said Monday. “Today we fulfill that commitment with a gift of $5,000 from the Senator James H. Donovan Memorial Fund. This initial gift includes the ability to name this baby cub, and I am delighted to be among those introducing you to the zoo’s newest attraction, “Donovan”, an eight week old male African Lion cub.

The Utica Zoo stated that it would soon be launching a naming campaign to “insure sustainable funding and care” for the animal of one’s choice.


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