East Texans flock to Ellen Trout Zoo for lion cub debut

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The newest addition to the Ellen Trout Zoo family made his debut just four weeks after being born.

"He's a handful, if you take what having a house cat is like and multiply by a million, he's amazing," said Diana Crocker, Zoo Supervisor.

'Sango the African Lion cub drew a large crowd to the lion exhibit. Zoo officials say he is a significant achievement for the zoo's population

"First Lion that has been born here since the late 1970's and we've had lions all along and just not had the opportunity to get them to reproduce for us until now," said Gordon Henley, Zoo Director.

When Sango was born he weighed a little over two pounds today he weighed 10 pounds.

Since he's being hand raised, zoo keepers give him plenty of baby food, special formula and antibiotics.

"He's getting teeth, he changes every day," said Crocker.

The lion cub is a part of the captive breeding program where zoos nationwide work together to manage the population of their animals.

It took the zoo over 30 years to find the right pedigree and proper genetics to produce sango.

"To help ensure the sustainability of that species for zoos and to maintain the genetic diversity of the animal, Sango one day will go to another zoo we're he will be paired up with a female there to keep the lion population going," said Henley.

Sango will be raised at Ellen Trout by the zoo keepers who gave him a name with majestic meaning.

"It means god of thunder and lightning," said Crocker.

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