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A lion cub claws onto a big grey ball while two other cubs watch on
Photograph: Supplied/ Taronga Zoo

The lion cubs at Taronga Zoo turned one and now we all get $1 zoo tickets on our birthdays

This pawfect birthday deal will be running indefinitely

Written by
Maya Skidmore

Roooar-ight, folks. Today is a big day for Sydney, 'cause Taronga Zoo’s five (that’s right, five) resident African lion cubs have just turned one. Also, somewhat coincidentally, it’s their dad, Ato’s birthday too. We’ll just pause for applause. And the best bit of this happy occasion? Now we all get $1 tickets to the zoo on our birthdays too. Thanks cubs, you absolute cuties. 

On August 12, 2021, Taronga Zoo welcomed five healthy African Lion cubs into the world in one adorable litter, with South African born mum, Maya and Werribee Zoo born dad, Ato, becoming the proud parents of Khari, Luzuko, Malika, Zuri and Ayanna. Sigh. 

With only 20,000 lions left in the wild, the importance of safeguarding the population through ethical breeding programs in captivity is vitally important to bolstering the lion population worldwide, whilst also simultaneously ensuring the ethical conservation of one of our planet’s most magnificent mammals – just in case anything drastic happens to all those who are out there roaming wild. As such, these cubs are pretty bloody important, and them turning one is a milestone that is definitely worth celebrating.

A lion cub stares down at the camera
Photograph: Supplied/ Taronga Zoo

From the moment they were born, people from all over Sydneytown watched on the 24/7 live Lion Cam as the cubs grew up during lockdown, with them now looking just as adorable in real life, one year on. And for the cubs, it’s only been strength to strength from birth to now. From weighing 1.5 kilos at birth, the males are now clocking in at a hefty 90 to 95 kilos, and the females are coming in at 70 to 75 kilos, meaning that everything is looking up. 

Arguably, things are also really looking up for all us critter-lovin’ punters who like to go to the zoo on our birthdays. In 2016, for Taronga’s centenary, the zoo put on a $1 birthday ticket deal that got shut down during the last two years of lockdowns. Now, in light of the cubs’ first birthday, they’re bringing it back for good. 

The deal is open to anyone visiting either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo, all you've got to do is register your visit by clicking right here. After that, you will just need to bring a form of ID that proves that it is, in fact, your birthday. 

What’s more pawfect than that? 

Want more big cat action whilst you're at Taronga? Get up close and personal with Sumatran tiger cubs with this incredible immersive experience.

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