Abuto, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s seven-year-old male African lion, often wows guests with his remarkable roar, striking mane and impressive intelligence. He has many roles, including ambassador, inspiration and patriarch. Abuto is father to males Aslan and Boma, and to female Elsa, who were all born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on June 25, 2015. Their mother, Lomela, and her sister, Zwena, are both eleven years old – and complete the CMZoo pride of six.
Abuto and the rest of the pride serve an important ambassador role here at CMZoo, helping to connect our guests to wild African lions. The wild lion population has declined by 43 percent in the last 20 years, and experts predict they will be extinct in the next 20 years. Working to prevent conflict between ranchers and lions, which often results in lion fatalities, EWASO Lions is one of CMZoo’s Kenyan conservation partners that provides local communities with education, training and guidance on conservation practices that help both people and wildlife.
Our pride inspired Cheyenne Mountain Zoo members to send $16,000 to EWASO Lions last year. Through their programming, Kenyans who depend on their livestock and agriculture to survive learn to use tools that create healthy, safe barriers between themselves and the lions who live nearby.
Support from CMZoo members went specifically to EWASO Lions’ Lion Kids Camp. Kenyan children who grow up in close proximity to wildlife often have perceptions shaped by negative observations or encounters, such as a lion hunting their family’s livestock. Through a combination of wildlife education, safari experiences and a conservation-themed curriculum, EWASO Lions is educating and inspiring the next generation of wildlife conservationists to help save wild African lions, with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s support.
For more information on EWASO Lions, click here.
Click the video below to learn more about Abuto, and how his behavioral training is helping him contribute to his own long-term care.