Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo will soon say goodbye to four long-time guests.
Four lions, Dobi and Cooey who arrived at the PotashCorp Ark Exhibit in November 2008 and their cubs, Nathan and Shadow will be leaving the zoo on a unspecified date in November.
On loan from Elmvale Jungle Zoo in Ontario, Dobi and Cooey were in Saskatoon through a program by the Canadian Aquarium and Zoo Association.
Cary Humphrey, Manager of the City’s Leisure Services Branch said the four cubs were one of the zoo’s hottest attractions.
“They’ve been very popular,” said Humphrey. “They were very popular when we got the two adults four years ago, but the staff were just elated when they had offspring … its exciting (and) it’s sad,” he said of the lions leaving.
Although Humphrey doesn’t know what will replace the lions, he explained John Moran, the zoo manager, is working on the next exhibit. The cougars will occupy the enclosure where Dobi and Cooey were residing in the meantime.
“He’s working on something,” said Humphrey. “He would bring in other animals that one, we’re ready for, that two, is suitable for Saskatoon and that our staff is trained in terms of proper handling.”
To celebrate the lion’s departure, zookeepers will be on hand over the Thanksgiving long-weekend from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, 7 and 8 to answer questions about the animals.
With files from Jane Caulfield