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    March 15, 2019
    2-for-1 Admission Day on March 14!
    PEORIA, ILLINOIS, March 13, 2019 - 
    ROAR-ing changes have come to Peoria Zoo as staff recently bid farewell to three of its female lions.  The three lions were born at Peoria Zoo on December 4, 2015 and have been transferred to Audubon Zoo in New Orleans in accordance with Lion Species Survival Plan recommendations.  
    Species Survival Plan ensures the African lion population in AZA institutions is as genetically varied as possible and that all institutions wanting to display this species will be able to acquire them.  Lions are currently listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red Data List.  Threats to survival include loss of habitat to residential and commercial development, agriculture, and logging.  Civil unrest and pollution also contribute to the continuing decrease.  
    Peoria Zoo Director, Yvonne Strode, acknowledges that saying goodbye to the three lions was difficult, but believes the outcome of the move will be beneficial.  "Having watched them grow from day one, it was hard to see the girls go but we are thrilled that all three were transferred to the same facility.  Our visitors will be able to view the parents, Arthur and Lizzie, every day, who will now have the whole place to themselves," says Strode.  
    Families with animal lovers will have a great opportunity to visit Arthur and Lizzie on Thursday, March 14th, as Peoria Zoo and Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum will host a 2-for-1 day!  This special day allows patrons to buy admission at one facility and get same-day admission to the other for free.  
    • Lions were once found throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Now they live only in Africa, except for 350-400 Asiatic lions found in a protected area of India.  
    • A lion's roar can be heard from up to five miles away.
    • Lions are the second largest living cat after the tiger.
    • Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism - that is, males and females look distinctly different.  
    • Lion cubs are born blind.  Cubs are kept in hiding for the first eight weeks of their lives and remain dependent on adults until they are about 16 months old. 
    • Lions sleep up to 21 hours a day.
    Yvonne Strode
    (309) 682-1200