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New lion makes Akron debut

5/9/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

WEST AKRON — Mandisa, a female African lion new to the Akron Zoo, made her debut recently. She is shown at bottom, at right, with Tamarr, the zoo’s male lion.

During a visit May 2, Anthony Acomb, 5, of Stow, had the chance to get close to the zoo’s newest resident, as shown above.

Zoo officials said Mandisa was born July 18, 2008, and now weighs 289 pounds. She eats up to 7 pounds of meat a day, they added.

The lioness is not the only new feature at the zoo for 2013. Coming soon is the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit area. Construction on the new exhibit is progressing, as shown at right.

Grizzly Ridge will be one of the largest openings in the zoo’s 60-year history, zoo officials said, and will include more than six different animal species, highlighted by grizzly bears. Grizzly Ridge also will include some animals never seen before at the Akron Zoo, including red wolves and coyotes. River otters and bald eagles, which were previously at the zoo, will make their return with new exhibits. The space also will include a walk-in aviary with native Ohio birds. It’s slated to open July 20.

The zoo is now open with its summer hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, go to www.akronzoo.org.

— By Kathleen Folkerth

Photos: Dale Dong

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