The Peoria Zoo is bidding adieu to three lions.
Zoo director Yvonne Strode says the lionesses left Peoria Sunday morning for their new home at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.
The move is part of a species survival plan developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Peoria Zoo’s accrediting organization. The plan helps approved institutions, such as the zoo in New Orleans, to acquire African lions for public display.
Nia, Zuri and Kali were born at the Peoria Zoo in December 2015. Parents Arthur and Lizzie will remain on display in Peoria.
Strode says the three cubs were the result of Lizzie’s first successful birth. All were hand raised by zoo staff. Strode she’s sad to see the siblings leave, but she’s thrilled the three lions will live in the same, new exhibit.