Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium continues its 30th anniversary celebration with the addition of several new species at its recently launched 15-acre Safari Park expansion. The new species include olive baboons, jackals and the Southwest’s only white African lion.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the young female white lion exploring the Safari Park’s spacious new lion habitat each day from approximately 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zookeepers will spend the next year or more introducing the youngster to the park’s older lion pair with whom she shares the exhibit. White lions are not albino but a rare color variation. Unfortunately, African lions have experienced a catastrophic decline in population numbers over the past quarter century. The once plentiful iconic African species and “king of the jungle” may soon go extinct if wild population declines due to habitat and prey loss, human conflict and overpopulation are not reversed.

Also making their debut are a trio of Olive baboons. With a range that extends across a large swath of Sub Sahara Africa, baboons are one of the most versatile and successful species of Old World monkeys. They can be found in all types of habitats from dry grasslands to rain forests. Almost dog-like in appearance with a longer snout and preference for walking on all fours, Olive baboons can grow quite large with some males reaching as much as 100lbs. Mature females can be distinguished by their prominent and reddish colored bare hindquarters. Despite an extensive primate collection of about two dozen varieties, these are the first baboons in Wildlife World’s 30 year history.

Rounding out the latest additions is a pair of African Jackals. Like the Southwest’s coyotes, these canine cousins survive by hunting a variety of small animals and foraging on plant matter. Jackals are small predators with slender legs and large ears for cooling and are often found in arid grasslands.

The Safari Park increases Wildlife World’s developed area to about 80 acres and includes another dining option for zoo visitors at the Safari Grill. Visitors will appreciate dozens of shaded viewing locations that provide guests with multiple panoramic views of some of Africa’s most recognizable species including several varieties of antelopes, wildebeest, ostriches, and more. Visitors can walk around the safari park as well as take an optional tram ride (for an additional fee) through a half dozen animal exhibits. Entrance to the Safari Park, located by the zoo’s popular giraffe feeding station, is included with general admission.

As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) We’re open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo and aquarium. Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only is available after 5:00 p.m.

For more info: (623) 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.