Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Aylesford to kick off 2017 season with new lion cub


Published on April 4, 2017

African lion cub Nnenne (pronounced Nee), born to Nyah and Obi in October, is often found in close proximity to her slightly older brother, Hunter.

©Ashley Thompson

Published on 04 April 2017

Born in October, African lion cub Nnenne (pronounced Nee) to Oaklawn Farm Zoo’s young pride.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

The youngest African lions in Oaklawn Farm Zoo’s pride, Nnenne (pronounced Nee) and Hunter, soak up the sun during a quiet day at the zoo April 4.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

African lion cub Nnenne (pronounced Nee), born to Nyah and Obi in October, is often found in close proximity to her slightly older brother, Hunter.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Born to Oaklawn Farm Zoo’s Nyah and Obi in October, cub Nnenne is pictured playing with a football in the African lion enclosure.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Nyah, mother to Nnenne (Nee) and Hunter, relaxes in the sun.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

African lions Obi and Sterk, each weighing about 550 pounds, were content soaking up the sun April 4.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Oaklawn Farm Zoo

Published on 16 April 2014

<span>Sterk, left, and Nyah play on a sunny April day.</span>

Photos by TC Media - Kings County News

African lion cub Nnenne (pronounced Nee) slinks up to zookeeper Maria Weinberg to see what kind of treats her faithful human companion has to offer.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Published on 04 April 2017

Born last April, African lion cub Hunter has certainly changed his looks since zoo goers last visited Oaklawn in the fall.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Published on 04 April 2017

Oaklawn Farm Zoo zookeeper Mike Brobbel hands 33-year-old gibbon Boo Boo, pictured carrying a new baby, a cracker.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Jasper the cougar cat calls to Oaklawn Farm Zoo employee Maria Weinberg as she approaches his enclosure.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Pinky the cheetah surveys the land at Oaklawn Farm Zoo in the bright sunshine April 4.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Oaklawn welcomed several baby goats during the off-season this year.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

South American jaguars Tupi and Junia take in the sights to behold at Oaklawn Farm Zoo.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

The animals at Oaklawn Farm Zoo were soaking up the sun April 4.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

This baby alpaca is new to Oaklawn Farm Zoo this year.

Photos by Ashley Thompson

AYLESFORD - Some Oaklawn Farm Zoo regulars might feel a sense of déjà vu when they visit the African lions this spring.

“We have a new lion,” announced zookeeper Mike Brobbel in an interview April 4.

The Aylesford-based zoo is slated to re-open April 14.

For a second year in a row, Oaklawn will be introducing the public to a new African lion cub born to Nyah and Obi.

“This is their second child and their last,” said Brobbel, noting that it’s nearly been one year since the pair’s first cub, Hunter, was born.

The latest addition to the pride, named Nnenne (Nee), was born Oct. 24, 2016.

“Her and Hunter hang out all the time because she’s still pretty small, so they live together,” said Brobbel.

“She was born right when we were closing for the season.”

The cubs have spent the winter season bonding, playing and growing – lots of growing.

“(Hunter’s) got his new roommate. He’s got his little sister with him, which has been really good for him because he didn’t have a litter mate,” said Brobbel.

Oaklawn Farm Zoo employee Maria Weinberg specializes in caring for the big cats. She can often be spotted among the lions when there’s work to be done inside the enclosure.

Born last April, African lion cub Hunter has certainly changed his looks since zoo goers last visited Oaklawn in the fall.
Ashley Thompson

The new cub’s name – Nnenne (Nee) – is commonly used in Africa, often given when it is believed a grandmother has been reincarnated in a child. Weinberg fondly remembers her own mother lovingly referring to herself as the grandmother of the lions her daughter cared for at Oaklawn.

Weinberg, who played a significant role in raising Hunter, said Nnenne is practically her brother’s shadow.

“They’re inseparable,” said Weinberg, walking over to the lion enclosure to find the cubs cuddling on a hill while lounging in the sun.

Weinberg estimates Nnenne weighs about 60 pounds, and Hunter is closer to 170 pounds. The adult males – five-year-old Sterk and three-year-old Obi – would be about 550 pounds, she added.

The lions weren’t the only animals to welcome a newcomer in the fall.

In the same month Nnenne was born, gibbons Boo Boo and Zandor also welcomed a newborn.

 “They’ve mated for life and Boo Boo has been here since 1984, so she’s one of the originals here,” said Brobbel, adding that it is believed Boo Boo is 33-years-old.

Boo Boo, affectionately called “Boo” by many, could be found monkeying around April 4, gently taking crackers from Brobbel’s hand while her infant tightly wrapped its arms around her torso.

Brobbel expects to see plenty of guests dropping by Oaklawn Farm Zoo in 2017. He said more than 100,000 visitors stopped in last season.