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The Times
  • Utica Zoo family expands with 2 lion cubs, 1 sea lion pup

  • One-year-old Donovan, an African lion, is now a big brother to two cubs.

    The cubs, one male and one female, were born on June 6 at the Utica Zoo to mother, Moni, and father, Bakari.

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  • One-year-old Donovan, an African lion, is now a big brother to two cubs.
    The cubs, one male and one female, were born on June 6 at the Utica Zoo to mother, Moni, and father, Bakari.
    “This makes for a pretty big pride for our zoo,” executive director Andria DeLisle-Heath said. “We’re rolling up our sleeves and expanding our family.”
    In the next few weeks, the cubs will be introduced to their father and then eventually to their big brother. They will be available for the public to view sometime in mid-August, DeLisle-Heath said.
    Also a new addition to the Utica Zoo is a baby California sea lion, which is a female born on June 15 to mother, Munchkin, and father, Porter.
    “She weighed 17 pounds at birth, but will end up weighing around the same as her mother, which is about 250 pounds,” said Beth Ricci, senior keeper and lead sea lion trainer.
    Unfortunately, the newcomer won’t be able to stay at the Utica Zoo for long.
    “There isn’t enough room in our sea lion exhibit for three adult sea lions,” DeLisle-Heath said. “We’ll have to find her a good home in another zoo.”
    There is a Utica Zoo Naming Program that allows a donor to name baby animals. A starting gift of $5,000 and yearly gifts after that allow the donor to name a lion cub, participate in “meet and greet” experiences throughout their first year of life, and much more.
    A one-time gift of $5,000 is required to name a sea lion cub.
    These funds are used in the daily care of these animals, including food and veterinary care.
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