At Home with the Big Cats.
Two magnificent wild-born African lions are the focal point of Lion's Lair. The lair is ruled by male, Elson, although rumor has it that it's his female mate, Angie, that really rules the roost.
The pair has produced several sets of offspring and, with a little luck, you might see them with one of their litters of cubs. Angie is a good mother, always watchful for any danger that might impact her cubs. But Elson is the easier-going of the two and seems to bear the brunt of the babysitting; he is usually the one that plays with the youngsters.
This majestic feline family can be found prowling by their watering hole or roaming the savanna path. And don't assume that wintry conditions keep these African natives inside. You can often see the cats surveying their kingdom from a large heated boulder.
Lion's Lair was originally part of a complex of bear pits constructed by Zoo founder Spencer Penrose in the 1930s. After its usefulness as a bear enclosure had ended, the area was transformed into a scenic grotto for Africa's big cats in 1997. With large windows affording guests an opportunity to get face-to-face with the lions, this exhibit is a favorite.