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With An Eye Toward Cubs, Philadelphia Zoo Gets A New Lion

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With its latest acquisition, the Philadelphia Zoo is preparing for a new generation of lions.

Kay Buffamonte, lead keeper at “Big Cat Falls,” says his name is Makini and he’s been brought in from Tulsa, Okla.

“This is a youngster — he’s three years old,” she tells KYW Newsradio, explaining that the zoo will be starting this coming spring on a program to mate him.

Makini’s mate will be a lioness named Tajiri, who was brought to Philadelphia from Racine, Wisc.

Buffamonte says the lion pair be introduced to each other slowly but won’t be allowed to mate for at least another year or so, until two-year-old Tajiri reaches sexual maturity at age three.

“Matchmaking can be dicey among big cats,” Buffamonte says.  “They’re large animals that can be aggressive.”

(Kuznits:)  “What have lions taught you about human matchmaking?”
(Buffamonte:)  “I guess that it’s good to take your time and be sure you’re giving out clear signals!”


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