The San Francisco Zoo is hosting a party this weekend to celebrate the release of Disney’s “The Lion King” live-action reboot and to bring awareness to the dwindling African lion population.
During the zoo’s Protect the Pride weekend, which runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can craft paper lions, find animal species featured in the film at the zoo and participate in a roaring contest open to ages 3 to 12, according to the zoo.
Winners of the roaring contest will receive a lion plush, movie poster and lion king buttons, said zoo official Nancy Chan. By donating to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) for African Lions, guests can enter a raffle to win two movie tickets to see Disney’s “The Lion King.”
Lion caretakers will give a talk each day at 2:30 p.m., according to the zoo.
In a written statement, Tanya Peterson, CEO and Executive Director of the San Francisco Zoological Society said:
“We are proud to partner with Disney, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Wildlife Conservation network on this special campaign.”
“By visiting the Zoo and seeing our own pride of lions, and seeing the new film, we hope there will be greater appreciation of this iconic species, and more support to conserve and protect Africa’s communities and wildlife.”
According to the zoo, the African lion population has been halved since the release of Disney’s original “The Lion King” 25 years ago, with only 20,000 remaining.
African lions are threatened by a combination of factors, including habitat loss, loss of prey, and poaching or other human interference, according to the zoo.