Rare lion cub born at Grove City’s Keystone Safari | TribLIVE.com

Rare lion cub born at Grove City’s Keystone Safari

Jacob Tierney
Keystone Safari
Simba, a rare lion cub, plays with his mom June at Keystone Safari in Grove City.

“The Lion King” remake won’t hit theaters until later this week, but another Simba recently made his debut in Pennsylvania.

The lion cub — named in honor of the movie — was born at Keystone Safari in Grove City in May.

After spending his first six weeks indoors with his mom, he made his debut in the outdoor area of the safari’s lion habitat.

Simba is a Barbary lion, a variety of lion that is extinct in the wild.

Barbary lions are known for their massive manes and heavy builds. They were hunted to extinction, and by the 1960s there were none left in their homeland, the Atlas Mountains in North Africa.

Simba’s parents, June and Cash, lived at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in New Castle from 2006-18, when they moved to Keystone Safari.

The safari opened to the public less than a year ago.

Simba was born a healthy 3 pounds, and now weighs about 12.

According to Keystone Safari, he enjoys rolling in the sand and grass in his habitat and practicing his pouncing.

Barbary lions have smaller litters than most lions, usually only one to three cubs.

“We are thrilled to be helping a new generation of these rare lions get started which would otherwise be totally wiped off the planet if it weren’t for the work of zoos around the world,” Keystone Safari Park Director Adam Guiher said in a statement.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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