Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo preps to unveil new male lion, Tasmanian devils

(WANE Photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Guests to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will be welcomed by a new male African lion, the return of Tasmanian devils and more when the top-rated attraction opens for its 52nd season Saturday.

The zoo opened to the Fort Wayne media on Tuesday for a preview day. Zoo Director Jim Anderson said his staff is prepping for “another fantastic season.”

The season will be highlighted by Bahati, the zoo’s new male African lion. He replaces Bill the lion, who died last April, along side lioness Ina in the African Journey.

Bahati might be the zoo’s most heralded newcomer, but the new Tasmanian devils figure to be its most spunky. Anderson said Tasmanian devil brothers Milton and Mischief “are always looking for ways to surprise us.” Tasmanian devils return to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo after more than a decade away.

Also in the African Journey, the zoo welcomes a new male Sitatunga, Bam Bam, and a critically endangered radiated tortoise.

The zoo’s Canadian lynx exhibit has been completed renovated and enlarged for brothers Thor and Loki, and a new exhibit was built for the chickens and red-tailed hawk in the Indiana Family Farm.

More than 600,000 people visited the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in 2016 – the zoo’s second-best season ever. Anderson said the zoo offers something new every year, and 2017 will be no different.