AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The new lion pride at the Akron Zoo is ready to make their debut.
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 23, Donovan, Kataba and Msinga will be in the lion habitat daily.
The zoo will keep the trio together in their new habitat while they become acquainted with the space.
The new habitats are part of a $17 million expansion that houses a pride of lions, and Wild Asia, recreating the jungles of Southeast Asia and the Himalayan forests. Wild Asia will be opening in the summer of 2020.
Kataba and Msinga are sisters and were acclimated to each other, however introducing Donovan to the pair took some time.
“Animal introduction takes a long time,” Vince Jeffries with the Akron Zoo told 19 News. "First they were introduced through a window, Kataba and Msinga had to get used to the new male Donovan.
The Akron Zoo’s present bonded pride Tamarr and Mandissa will never mix with the new pride, however the prides will rotate in the public areas.
“The Pride of Africa will deliver a state of the art complex that will address... our ability to manage a pride of lions, right here in Akron,” president of the Akron Zoo Doug Piekarz told media at the groundbreaking. “This is something that has never been done.”
The Akron Zoo will be closed for Thanksgiving Day but will reopen to Wild Lights, what the zoo is calling the “wildest lighting display this holiday season.”
“We went all out,” Elena Bell told 19 News.
Because the Pride of Africa is new that area will be decorated in holiday lighting.