LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Ellen Trout Zoo is saying goodbye to one of it's female lions in an effort to begin a breeding program for its two remaining lions.
The zoo is sending Sarabi, a 16-year-old lioness, to Albuquerque Biopark in New Mexico, to be a companion for a lone male lion there.
According to zoo Director Gordon Henley, the move opens an opportunity to begin a breeding program for Mashaka, a five-year-old male, and Adia, a four-year-old female.
Henley said there have not been any lion births at the zoo since the late 1970s.
Sarabi and Adia currently live in a habitat together, with Mashaka in a separate habitat. Now there is room for lion cubs to co-exist with the adult lions, Henley said.
Sarabi will begin the move to New Mexico on Saturday, Henley said.