January 3, 2020

Pittsburgh Zoo African Lion Moving to a New Home

(Pittsburgh) (January 2020)—The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is saying farewell to ten-year-old African lion, Ajani.

Ajani is moving to a new facility that caters to older lions. The facility has a flat terrain which will make it easier for Ajani to access indoor and outdoor areas.

In addition, this new facility will have other lions for Ajani to interact with. Since Ajani’s brother passed earlier this year, this new home will enable Ajani to socialize with other lions. In the wild, lions live in social groups called prides with 15 or more members.

“We will definitely miss Ajani,” says Kathy Suthard, Lead Mammal Keeper at the Zoo. “He and Razi arrived here as a young cubs and we had the privilege to watch them mature into magnificent lions. Now, this is the best move for Ajani.”

In 2012, two-year-old Ajani and Razi arrived from the Virginia Zoological Park. The pair was inseparable over the years. It was easy to tell them apart as Razi had the iconic Mohawk-shaped mane. “They were playful with each other but they always looked out for one another. They slept side-by-side each night,” says Suthard.

Once numbering in the millions, the African lion population is now estimated between six and ten thousand. In the past 21 years, their population has declined by 43%.

With Ajani’s relocation to his new home, the Zoo will make some improvements to the lion exhibit. The exhibit will be closed until work is complete.

Ajani is moving to Tiger Haven in Kingston, Tennessee.

Visit pittsburghzoo.org for updated information.