Bristol Zoo is home to a male lion, Ketan and lioness Sonika. Ketan was born on November 9th 2012. He enjoys sun bathing and playing with the enrichment he’s given by keepers, such as scented straw.
Three year old Sonika joined us in May 2019 from Cotswold Wildlife Park and the pair have been busy getting to know one another.
The Asiatic lion has unfortunately been declared the most endangered large cat species in the world. Asiatic lions are from India, where there are thought to be around 500 left in the wild.
You can now get even closer to our two lions with our brand new lion feeding experience. Click here for more info.
Lions are carnivores. Asiatic lions feed on wild pigs, cattle, antelope and deer in the wild.
Here at the Zoo, Ketan and Sonika are fed five kilos of meat throughout the week. The lions are not fed on set days or at set times as this reflects their natural behaviour in the wild where they would not successfully catch prey every day. They get a variety of joints, including ribs, leg and even the heads and tails! The joints have the fur on them and this helps provide the roughage that the lions needs in their diet.
In the wild, Asiatic lions are found in only one place in the world; the Gir forest in India. The Gir Forest is a dry deciduous forest in Gujarat, western India. Its wildlife sanctuary is 545 square miles with only the central 100 square miles completely protected as a National Park.
About 7,500 Maldhari people and their 14,000 cattle live in the Forest Sanctuary, with a further 160,000 people and 100,000 cattle living within six miles of the Sanctuary.
The population was estimated to be around 100 between 1968 and 1979 but is now thought to be more than five times this. However, the forest has met its limit of the number of lions it can support and other safe havens for Asiatic lions in India are sorely needed.
As there are so few Asiatic lions, it is necessary to manage the populations in human care and the wild if the species is to recover.
Did you know you can adopt Ketan? For a truly unique gift - whilst contributing to our conservation fund - click here to adopt!
Our lions love rolling in scented straw - anything from lavender to women's perfume!
You can find our Asiatic lions near the Main Entrance, at the start of the Top Terrace
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