Perth Zoo’s new mane man has stepped out into the spotlight making his much-anticipated public debut.

  • Western Australians can now get their first look at Jelani the lion
  • Perth Zoo’s new pride roar as ambassadors for wild cousins
  • Male lion will be introduced to lioness sisters in the coming weeks
Jelani the lion arrived from South Australia and spent two weeks settling into his new home. He is now ready to greet visitors.
The nine-year-old will be introduced to lioness sisters Makeba and Uzuri in the coming weeks to form a new pride. The non-breeding male is the perfect match to keep the pair company in a social structure that mimics the wild, improving the wellbeing of the big cats.
Jelani means “mighty” in Swahili. The 195 kilogram African lion made the 2,750 kilometre journey from Monarto Safari Park near Adelaide by plane. Perth Zoo hasn’t had a male lion since 2016.
With only 20,000 lions left in the wild, coordinated conservation programs play a critical role in protecting the species. The single biggest threat is human impact, through habitat destruction, wildlife encounters and illegal poaching for unethical tourism.

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“The cat is out of the bag, and we’re thrilled to welcome our mane man Jelani to Perth Zoo. We can’t wait to see him explore his new home in front of so many excited visitors.
“We hope Jelani lives up to his name as the mighty king of his new pride and plays an important role as an ambassador for his cousins in the wild. 
“Getting up close and personal with this new pride will give zoo visitors a greater appreciation of the plight of these big cats and wildlife conservation.
“I’d like to thank the dedicated team at Perth Zoo who has ensured Jelani has settled in purrfectly and I’m sure he’ll delight visitors from all over our great State and beyond.”