HOUSTON - Santa came early to the Houston Zoo and delivered a 400-pound gift named Hasani.
The three-year-old lion made himself at home in the lion habitat Tuesday morning. He explored the yard, climbed the rocks and snacked on special treats left by his keepers.
Hasani is the zoo’s first male lion since the 2016 passing of beloved zoo icon Jonathan.
The zoo’s three lionesses will alternate time in the yard with him until they are all better acquainted.
PHOTOS: Houston Zoo welcomes new lion
The Houston Zoo’s lion pride are ambassadors for their wild counterparts in Africa and serve to educate guests about the work being done to help save this vulnerable species. Scientists estimate there are only enough lions left in Africa to fill a football stadium, half the number of 20 years ago.
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