H-SANTA BARBARA

Nov 16, 2012 2:52 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

Two new lionesses to make Thanksgiving zoo debut, feast on turkeys

Two young female African Lions will go on display at the Santa Barbara Zoo this Thanksgiving.

The two-year-old lionesses arrived at the zoo via Federal Express last month from the National Zoo in Washington, DC. They have completed the standard 30-day quarantine.

Zookeepers hope the lionesses, named Kadi and Neema, will mate with the zoo's male lion, Chadwick, as part of a breeding program organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Chadwick is 14 years old, but his genes are still considered valuable to the AZA captive population. Chadwick and the Santa Barbara Zoo's other female, Gingerbread, produced just two cubs, Kiki and Docha.

The lionesses are expected to be on view on Thanksgiving Day, when the zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. They will be fed raw turkeys.

Two fennec foxes will also make their debut. Fennec foxes are native to the African desert and are the world's smallest foxes. The foxes are in the exhibit adjacent to the lions.

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