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Mon, March 30

Trio of new lions takes up residence at Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Visitors can come and see the lions in their new home in Camp Verde shared with eight other lions, 12 tigers, two giraffes, one rhino and hundreds of other animals and creatures at the local wildlife park, said according to Ashton Powell, public relations director at Out of Africa. (Photo courtesy of  Lion Habitat Ranch)

Visitors can come and see the lions in their new home in Camp Verde shared with eight other lions, 12 tigers, two giraffes, one rhino and hundreds of other animals and creatures at the local wildlife park, said according to Ashton Powell, public relations director at Out of Africa. (Photo courtesy of Lion Habitat Ranch)

CAMP VERDE -- The King seems happy with his new Kingdom.

He has made it in the shade, content, gazing at his subjects, closing his eyes while nodding off, taking a long sigh as his name was called to grab his attention.

The young male lion currently named Ted is one of three new lions at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park that arrived last week.

"The male is just under 4 years old, and the girls coming up on 3, so they are at the right time to put them together. They've known each other all of their lives," explained Dean Harrison president Out of Africa Wildlife Park.

The trio came from the Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson, Nevada. Their names are Ted, Kayla and Lady, however Out of Africa is evaluating if the names fit and they might change them.

"They've taken to their new habitat, which they obviously like very much," Harrison said. "And Ted himself sits up-front all day long, enjoying watching visitors, so it's a good thing for him. We always look from an animal's point of view."

"We want the lion to be the teacher," he added. "And tell us what he needs."

Visitors can come and see the lions in their new home in Camp Verde shared with eight other lions, 12 tigers, two giraffes, one rhino and hundreds of other animals and creatures at the local wildlife park, said according to Ashton Powell, public relations director at Out of Africa.

The park has the only Tiger Splash show in the United States right now, and possibly in the world other than in Australia, Harrison said.

Only tigers are used in the well-known Tiger Splash shows, as the lions do not like the water as much, Powell said.

The three new lions were born in captivity. The animals at Out of Africa are rescued animals or are born in captivity and cannot survive in the wild.

Harrison said the female lions are "easy going," and were staying mostly in the shade of some trees on Wednesday.

Currently, the male and females are in a large separate adjacent areas that will be opened up and they will have access to each other. Once the three lions are put together, "we'll have a baby, in all likelihood," Harrison said.

In 1988, Dean and Prayeri Harrison founded Out of Africa Wildlife Park. In 2005, they moved Out of Africa from Phoenix to Camp Verde and built a 104-acre park that "bears a striking resemblance to many parts of Africa."

Harrison says we can learn as much from Ted as he is learning from us staring out from his perch under a shelter that he seems to love so much.

"Actually being able to sit near them or watch them for a little while, and how they handle life and what they think about things, how they conduct themselves with other animals, how they think, how they feel" is educational, Harrison said.

"Seeing all this in the body language allows us to actually, not only enjoy them, but to teach us something about ourselves," he said.

"They are always innocent, and they are always childlike - even when they are wild."

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