African Lions pick winner of Big Game

Bookmark and Share Zoo News

African Lions pick winner of Big Game



“The early favorite was Indianapolis but they chose New Orleans to Win”




For immediate Release

Des Moines...    


The African Lions at the Blank Park Zoo chose New Orleans to win the big game on Sunday.


Two boxes were placed in the exhibit this morning, each with the name of the team name on it. When the lions entered the exhibit, the female lions Gavivi and Falala raced over to make their pick.


At first, keepers at the Zoo thought that Indianapolis was their favorite, but Falala soon kicked that box out of the way and Gavivi and Falala both signaled their choice by placing their front paws in the New Orleans box.


“They think Dwight Freeney’s injury will hurt Indianapolis’s chances,” said Ryan Bickel, Zoo spokesperson.


The male lion, Cha Cha, didn’t seem interested in the game.


Bickel said that Cha Cha is a depressed Detroit Lions fan that will only watch Sunday’s game for the commercials.


After standing in the box for several minutes the lions tore both boxes to shreds.


Animal Curator Jeff Dier said that activities such as this are called “enrichment activities” and boxes are often given to the lions to play with and entertain themselves.


About African Lions:
Typically, a mature male stands 4 feet at the shoulder and is 8½ feet long, plus tail. He averages 450 pounds. Females are considerable smaller, and weigh less than 300 pounds. Adult lions usually have a plain unspotted coat, light brown to dark ochre in color while cubs are marked with spots that sometimes persist on the legs and belly until they are fully grown. Male lions have a brown mane, which tends to grow darker and fuller as the animal ages. "White" lions occasionally occur in the Transvaal region of southern Africa, but these are not true albinos.   

Lions are the only social cats and live in groups called prides. Lions are primarily diurnal and crepuscular. During “play fighting,” retracted claws and unexposed teeth are used. “Play fighting” develops skills for hunting and also establishes relative social status within the pride. A lion’s mane not only makes it look larger and more intimidating, but also protects its neck.

Lions are threatened due to illegal hunting and fur trading. However, the survival rates of African lions are on the rise because of African wildlife preserves.     


15 – 18 years in the wild. Up to 25 years in captivity

Diet in the Wild:
Buffalo, zebra, antelope, giraffe, and warthogs. Gnu and wildebeest
Diet at the Zoo:
Meat mixture

The Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open in the winter Thursday-Sunday, 10am-4pm. Admission is $10.95 for adults, $5.95 for children under 12, and $8.95 for seniors and active military. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at . The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)  The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.


View a video of the pick at :

Copyright © 2016 Blank Park Zoo. All Rights Reserved.