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Looking for lions…

LionchristopherAlthough we spend a lot of time in our house doing craft projects, building with Legos, reading books, putting on puppet shows, and playing soccer, I confess we have not banned Disney from entering our home…yet.

My son D has been a fan of Disney’s Lion King since he first saw the movie when he was 3. I would fast forward some scenes that in my opinion seemed a bit scary in typical Disney fashion–including the evil character (in this movie it was Simba’s evil Uncle Scar) who kills a parent (here it was Mufasa, Simba’s dad and Scar’s brother) early on in the movie, leaving the child to deal with grief and figure out what to do next. The message of good versus evil, being true to yourself and taking responsibility for your actions probably went over my 3-year-old son’s head. But he loved Simba, his friends, his parents, the songs and the humor. As he has gotten older these concepts have made for interesting dinner conversation.

My boys often acted out the movie and made their own costumes. After seeing the Broadway version of the Lion King on stage at PPAC in 2005, my son (and I) was even more mesmerized by this show, the music, and the costumes by Julie Taymor. Now that my son is six, he is a little less obsessed but still a fan of the story. And lions have become one of his favorite animals. Although we love our local Roger Williams Park Zoo, it doesn’t have lions. My son has recently expressed his desire to see a real male lion just like Simba and Mufasa.

After searching around, we finally found one. Christopher is a 405-pound male lion who lives at the Franklin Park Zoo. Until we get a chance to visit him in person, here he is.

Franklin Park Zoo (located less than an hour from Providence)
One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, MA
617-541-LION (5466)

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  • hi there! i just wanted ms. raoof to know that my family and i recently visited the capron zoo in attleboro, ma this weekend and, much to our surprise, they have 2 lionesses and a lion. a couple of weeks ago, ms. raoof had written that she was planning on visiting the a zoo with lions because her son enjoyed the lion king and wanted to see a live lion. she was planning on taking her family to franklin park zoo where they do have lions but i wanted to let her know that the capron zoo is much closer and there are lions! additionally, the male lion is a white lion… very unique and beautiful.
    in addition to the lions, this small, well kept, beautiful little zoo has otters, kangaroos, llamas, meerkats, snow leopards, sloth bears and snow monkeys. they have 3 phenomenal indoor exhibits – a rainforest, a nocturnal setting and a small african plain animals. again, it’s a very small zoo but we were very impressed.
    lastly, the cost can’t be beat – around $5 a person…
    keep up the great work!
    thank you!
    – Sonig

  • There’s a closer lion (two actually!) at Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro — and they’re hoping to aquire a male white lion at some point this spring. It’s a great neighborhood zoo, with big expansion plans! You might want to check it out!