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First Birthday Means New Digs And Icy Treats For Cubs

Louisa Jonas
Texas Public Radio
The lion cubs shortly after they were born compared to a year later for their birthday.

The San Antonio Zoo is investing $1 million to expand and improve the animal habitats. Three lion cubs, whose first birthday celebration was today, will benefit from the renovations.

TP, Josh and Axelle, the three cubs, were rough housing with their parents as Tim Morrow, the zoo’s CEO, said they’re getting a birthday present, a habitat that’s 25 percent bigger.

To have these lions growing up here and have people be exposed to them and see them grow over the year as they come and visit is very exciting for us,” Morrow says.

Tim Morrow

Right now an outdoor moat keeps visitors at a distance.  When the new exhibit opens in October, a window will protect visitors, but allow them to get closer. And Morrow says they’re adding enrichment activities for the lions, like a large rope that runs through the window and allows the public and lions to interact. 

“So we’re going to have a tug of war in there where our guests will actually be able to do tug of war with the lions,” says Morrow. “As you know, if you have a cat at home, they love to play. They love to pull on strings. The big cats are no different—they love to play too.” 

Of course it wouldn’t be a birthday party without gifts to play with. The cubs go wild for their blood popsicles, made of just what you’d think.