Kwanzaa

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Kwanzaa (born December 24, 2004 in Waco, Texas) is a male African lion that was added to the collection of the Birmingham Zoo on February 15, 2006. After three months in quarantine and some time in a separate exhibit area he has been moved to the lion exhibit, where he alternated indoor and outdoor time with the much older Sheba.

Kwanzaa was named for the African-inspired holiday which began in 2004 on the day after his birth. He joined Sheba, who had been the sole lion in the zoo since the death of Maynard in June 2005. When he arrived, plans called for Kwanzaa to be joined later by two or three females as part of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's African Lion Species Survival Plan, in which the zoo is a partner. In August 2007 he was joined by Akili, a female African lion. Sheba was subsequently moved to an off exhibit holding area.

On May 25, 2011, Akili gave birth to five lion cubs fathered by Kwanzaa: Asha, Baron, Kimba, Lily, and Vulcan.

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