WACO (April 1, 2014) The Cameron Park Zoo’s new male lion has almost completed his 30-day quarantine and goes on display Saturday, which is also Wild Cat Conservation Day.
Kai, which is short for Kaikane, which means strong or powerful sea, was acquired from the Honolulu Zoo, where he was born in 2012.
Zoo visitors can register between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday for a chance to win a behind-the-scenes tour of the lion exhibit, and the first 100 people to enter the zoo Saturday will receive free leis.
Kai replaces Sam Jack, the male African Lion that was a must-see attraction for Cameron Park Zoo visitors for 14 of his 15 years.
He was euthanized last summer after he was diagnosed with severe kidney disease in February 2013.
Sam Jack was born on March 27, 1998 at the Knoxville, Tenn., Zoo and was acquired the next year by the Cameron Park Zoo.
He was named in honor of former Waco Mayor Sam Jack McGlasson, whose widow Elizabeth donated funds and solicited matching donations from friends in order to construct the zoo's African Lion Habitat.
He fathered six cubs during his life and was the grandfather of the two cubs of his first-born son Kwanzaa, on exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, Ala.