A 10-week-old African lion cub, Pilipili, can be seen roaming around the lion habitat at the Lincoln Park Zoo. He made his first public debut over the weekend after spending his first few weeks getting to know his pride before venturing out into the habitat. He’s the first cub born there in over 20 years!
He marks the latest addition to the pack, and just came into the world on March 15th. The cub is the offspring of 3-year-old female “Zari” and 4-year-old male “Jabari.” His name has a special meaning as well. Pilipili means “pepper” in Swahili and serves as an ode to the Pepper family, who actually funded a renovation of the zoo’s lion habitat.
With a $15 million gift from the Pepper family, the Lincoln Park Zoo was able to expanded the lion habitat and visitor viewing opportunities. The area, which finished reconstruction in 2021, is referred to as the Pepper Family Wildlife Center. The habitat was constructed using data collected over the last several years– mainly relating to lion behavior, space use, and preference.
As for Pilipili, he has been endlessly curious and recently started to explore his surroundings and outdoor habitat, alongside his mother of course. As he continues to reach new milestones, he will continue to discover all that his habitat offers. Unique features within his habitat include tree climbing to increase climbing his vertical complexity, along with thermal zones perfect for cooling and heating during the seasons.
Other members of his pride include aunts “Cleo” and “Hasira” who so far, have continued with business as usual.
Address: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614