Pauline the Lion Cub Makes Her Santa Barbara Zoo Debut

Happy news: The first meeting between the youngster and her father "went very smoothly."

Santa Barbara Zoo

What to Know

  • The Santa Barbara Zoo is open (advance reservations are a must)
  • Pauline was born on Nov. 5, 2020 to parents Felicia and Ralph
  • She joined her parents outdoors, and on public view, on Feb. 10, 2021

GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH A NEW AREA? Even for an adult, there's a bit of tentative exploration involved, and maybe some trepidation tinged with excitement and curiosity. You could say the same as Pauline, the Santa Barbara Zoo's young lion cub, got to know the outdoor area where her parents live. The cute cub has been off-view at the zoo since her Nov. 5 birth, spending time with her mother Felicia and recovering from a period where she was "critically ill" just three weeks after her birth. She grew heartier with care and time, and the zoo staff soon saw she was hale enough to join the African Lion habitat at the animal park. That big moment happened on...

Santa Barbara Zoo

TUESDAY, FEB. 9, and keepers watched closely to see how Pauline took to her new digs. Her meeting with her father Ralph "went very smoothly," is the good report, and she spent some sweet time at her mother's side, too, as they roamed their area together. She's "... an incredibly playful little lion," and visitors may now catch a glimpse or two of her in the African Lion area. Important to know? All of the lions have access to an indoor area, which means they can come and go as they please (and humans hoping to admire them may not see them, if the lions choose to linger indoors).

THE ZOO IS OPEN, but you'll need to make an advance reservation and bring your face covering. There are a few safety considerations before going, so make sure you review everything before buying your ticket. As for Pauline's play-tastic adventures? Visit the zoo's Facebook and Instagram for more merry photos go come, as this tyke grows into her powerful lioness adulthood.

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