By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was a big birthday bash for a king and queen today at the Philadelphia Zoo and everyone had a roaring time.
Well wishers sang happy birthday to African male lion 7-year-old Makini and lioness 6-year-old Tajiri.
They played with a pinata, checked out scented gifts boxes and licked an ice cake.
One fifth grader knew how to tell the difference between the two lions.
“The male has the mane and the female doesn’t have the mane.”
Kay Buffamonte is a lion expert and keeper. She says the big cats serve as ambassadors to animals in the wild, educating zoo visitors about conservation and how doing something as little as recycling or turning off a light can make a difference.
“Overall that’s going to have a larger impact on our use of space and the environment, and that does translate to helping all wildlife and people.”
The king and queen of the jungle’s four daughters were kept in a separate enclosure. They get their big party in the summer when they turn two.