Tag Archives: Lion Country Safari

Southern White Rhino Born at Lion Country Safari

Lion-Country-Safari-baby-rhinoLion Country Safari welcomes Spring with a ton of fun. A female Southern White Rhinoceros was born in front of guests on safari March 18th at 11:30am. Both the calf and mom are located in rhino maternity area, visible in the drive-through safari.

The baby, named Blossom, was born to mom Bloom after 16 months of gestation. She is Bloom’s 3rd baby. It’s unusual for a white rhino to give birth during the day; they are usually born at night. It is expected for Blossom to gain 3-4 pounds a day from her mother’s milk, and will gain about a thousand pounds a year for the first three years.  Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years.

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Cheetah Cub Featured This Month at Lion Country Safari

Lion-Country-Cheetah-DogThrough the month of February 2015, an endangered cheetah cub named Adaeze (or Daisy for short) will be featured in Lion Country Safari’s Animal Theater presentations. Daisy, born on September 1st, is visiting all the way from LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Adaeze, meaning “daughter of a King” in Swahili, is joined by her seven-year-old companion dog named Odie, an Australian Shepard. This oddly matched friendship is ironic as dogs and cats are natural enemies, in wild Africa, dogs are utilized in a unique conservation strategy to protect livestock from the wild cheetah.  Adaeze is a wonderful animal ambassador and guests will have the opportunity to see her and Odie up close and learn more about them during the Animal Theater presentations.

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Remembering Lion Country Safari – Throwback Thursday

Lion-Country-Safari-Irvine (2)People who grew up in Southern California fondly remember the theme parks of their youth – including Lion Country Safari. The original Lion Country park opened in Loxahatchee, Florida in 1969 near West Palm Beach. The drive-it-yourself safari park was an instant success; so much so, that additional locations across the United States were scouted by the company, and the second park opened just a year later in 1970, in the foothills that create the Irvine/Laguna Hills border in Orange County.

Lion Country Safari in Irvine thrived for many years and was welcomed by neighboring attractions such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Movieland Wax Museum, and the Japanese Village and Deer Park. The company itself experienced extremely aggressive growth, and other LCS parks opened around the US, including properties in Texas, Virginia, and Ohio.

Shortly after opening, Lion Country Safari purchased an old lion from a travelling Mexican circus, and in a brilliant twist of fate, a character that at one time, rivaled Mickey Mouse’s celebrity was the center of attention in Irvine – Frasier, the Sensuous Lion! Frasier was old, and was missing most of his teeth; this caused his tongue to hang out of his mouth most of the time. Yet, he was a lover not a fighter – and the company’s Vice President and PR guru, Jerry Kobrin, developed Frasier’s hot-blooded persona as a mean, lean sex machine! In part, it was truth – and even lionesses would help prop Frasier up while the big cat mated with his pride; he sired many offspring.

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A Baby Giraffe for Lion Country Safari

Baby giraffe Hakuna 12-30As the year came to an end, Lion Country Safari welcomed its fifth giraffe birth of 2014. On Dec. 30, a 70-inch, 165-pound baby boy was born on safari.

The baby, named Hakuna, is located in the maternity pen with his mom and fellow newborn, Matata (born on Dec. 16). They are visible in the drive-through preserve (section 7, Hwange National Park) or from the giraffe feeding exhibit at Lion Country Safari.  After three months, they will join the entire giraffe herd.

Female giraffe reproduce year-round beginning at about four years of age. Their conception peak is usually during the rainy season and their gestation lasts approximately 15 months. Giraffe calves are born while the mother is in a standing position and they drop to the ground head first. Life expectancy of a giraffe is approximately 25 years.

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Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

Christmas with the ChimpsOn Thursday, December 18th at 10:30a.m., Lion Country Safari will celebrate the annual Christmas with the Chimps.

For 30 years now, Santa Claus has taken a hiatus from the North Pole to deliver presents to a very special group of chimps. This holiday celebration is open to the public and is the only opportunity where guests are allowed out of their vehicles to observe the chimps while in the Safari Preserve.

Once Santa’s boat/sleigh is loaded with wrapped presents including edible treats, stuffed animals, clothes and enrichment-themed activities, he will make his delivery to the chimps ages 9 and older. Little Mama, who according to Dr. Jane Goodall, is the oldest living chimp estimated to now be in her mid-70s, is always a crowd favorite to watch. “The chimpanzees are as excited as you or I about receiving their Christmas presents. The fact that they are such intelligent primates makes it necessary for us to always go that extra mile to provide them with stimulating environmental enrichments. This is a benefit for the staff and chimps,” says Wildlife Director Terry Wolf.

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