How to tell our Asiatic lions apart

by ZSL on

Head of the pride

Our most recent arrival to the lions is male Bhanu, who joined us all the way from Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada, and follows in the in the pawprints of Winnie the bear who came to London in 1914 and was the inspiration for AA Milne’s children’s book Winnie the Pooh.

Being the only male in our pride, Bhanu is easy to tell apart from our three girls with his large and handsome mane. He’s also quite a talkative lion, so be sure to listen out for his deep rumbling chatter when wandering around Zoo.

Bhanu Asiatic lion

Our girls

Telling our three beautiful ladies apart is where things start to get difficult. Our two youngest lionesses, Heidi and Indi are almost identical but there’s one small give away, and that’s the tell-tale freckles just above Indi's whiskers, as well as the large black freckle on her left cheek. While having a close bond with Heidi, Indi is not as confident as her two sisters so can sometimes be spotted off on her own while Rubi and Heidi explore together.

Indi Asiatic lion
Indi is one of the youngest of our females

Sister Heidi is the lightest in colour of our three lionesses, which is a great way to tell her apart from the others. She's also the boldest and most social of our three girls, so can often be heard roaring. Heidi shares a close bond with both her sisters, but does spend a lot of time grooming Rubi, so if you see two lions off together, it's likely to be that pair.

Heidi the Asiatic lion
Heidi is known to roar

While similar in looks to Indi and Heidi, Rubi is the biggest of our three girls and also the darkest in colour but she's also the shyest. You'll nearly always spot her doing her own thing, sunbathing or looking on at her sisters mucking about and having fun. Our eldest sister also has a slightly saggier belly than the other two.

Rubi Asiatic lion
Rubi is the darkest in colour of our three girls

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