In the Animals section:
At the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), the two male cubs, Baron and Vulcan, will be going to the Montgomery Zoo and the three female cubs, Asha, Kimba and Lily, to Africam Safari in Puebla, Mexico. Both the Montgomery Zoo and Africam Safari are AZA accredited institutions. The cubs’ father, Kwanza, and mother, Akili, will remain at the Birmingham Zoo.
The timing of the lion cubs’ departure is important because Kwanza will begin to lose patience with the male cubs and will start to view the female cubs differently as they grow older. In the wild, lion cubs never stay together as a mixed-gender group; males always disperse from their pride, and females often venture out on their own as well.
The goal is for Asha, Kimba and Lily to ultimately breed with Africam Safari’s male lions, and Baron and Vulcan will stay together at the Montgomery Zoo until they receive breeding recommendations from the SSP. The female cubs will have a large area to roam at Africam Safari, as their exhibit consists of approximately ten acres. The lion exhibit at the Montgomery Zoo is positioned so that the lions can see giraffes, gazelles and other African hoofstock and features a viewing glass where guests can get close to where the lions lounge, as well as a water feature.