El Paso Zoo introduces ‘Hodari’ the new male lion

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Officials with the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens introduced their new 4-year-old male African lion – Hodari – on Thursday.

Zoo officials share that Hodari was born on October 25, 2017, at the Pueblo Zoo in Pueblo, Colorado.

Hodari arrived in El Paso on November 8 and has since been behind the scenes for the regular 30-day quarantine, getting to know his new exhibit and bonding with his companions and keepers.

Keepers add that they learned quickly that Hodari is a “well-mannered lion who is responsive to his caretakers.”  

“The introduction and integration of these powerful animals is a slow process that takes time. One of the females is happy he is here while the other is still not quite sure about him…Our skilled and experienced animal keepers will monitor the process and we will have the entire new lion pride on display at the Zoo as soon as they are all ready.” 

Joe Montisano, Zoo Director

His transfer was made possible by the El Paso Downtown Lions Club who hosted a pecan fundraiser to generate $5,000, supporting his transport to El Paso and required care.  

“El Paso Downtown Lions Club is delighted to help bring a new handsome male lion to the El Paso Zoo. We believe he will bring much joy to zoo visitors,” said Susan Driscoll, President of the El Paso Downtown Lions Club.  

Hodari joins fellow African lionesses, Zari and Malaika as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP’s mission is to conserve species, including the African lion.  

For more info, visit the El Paso Zoo’s website.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.