El Paso Zoo Invites Community to say Goodbye to Male African Lion Xerxes
February 28, 2014

Xerxes Moving to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle

​El Paso, TX (February 28, 2014) – Male African lion, Xerxes, will be leaving the El Paso Zoo on Thursday, March 6, 2014, to move to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Xerxes will be on exhibit through Tuesday, March 4. The Zoo is inviting the community to come see Xerxes and his sisters before he leaves.
“We know that our community loves Xerxes and we want to invite them to come and say goodbye. This is an important move for the conservation of his species and we are all going to miss him,” said Steve Marshall, El Paso Zoo Director.
Staff members from the Woodland Park Zoo, including the Mammal Curator, will be transporting him to Seattle. They will be bringing a male African lion named Rudo, who will stay to live at the El Paso Zoo with our three females- Malaika, Kalliope and Zari.
The transfer of both lions is a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The SSP’s mission is to conserve species such as the African lion. They are currently listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM. This recommendation was made because our females are Xerxes’ sisters.
“All of the staff in the Africa section of the Zoo will miss Xerxes- he kind of grew up with us. He’s going to a good home and the young male we are receiving is a good match for our females,” said Dee Nelson, Collections Supervisor.
Rudo, the male arriving at the El Paso Zoo next week, will not be visible to visitors because he will be in quarantine, a routine practice at zoos, for at least 30 days. After his quarantine, zoo management and keepers will work to slowly introduce Rudo to the females before he goes out on exhibit with them. Slow introductions are a common practice throughout zoos for the safety and well-being of the animals. 

Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).