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Meet Forest Park Zoo’s New Lion Friend: Sampson

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) – The Forest Park Zoo welcomes a new friend, Sampson the Lion. This cub is only five weeks old and about 20 pounds.

Sampson was born at a zoo out of state into a large litter.  To give him some undivided attention, Forest Park Zookeepers are babysitting through the summer.

“He’s just like a regular kitten. He gets into mischief, goes underneath blankets, counters and whatever he can find. He’s pretty cute,” says Zookeeper Kim Madrak.

With living under the care of professionals, Sampson is fed healthy and kept safe.  “In the wild, they live about 14 years, in captivity they can live for over 20 years,” Madrak adds.

In about four years, Sampson will be fully grown, about 550 pounds.

This little guy’s teeth are already getting sharp, and claws long, but not to worry, he is very friendly to his visitors. 

Today, students from Langford Elementary School in East Hartford, Conn. enjoyed his company.

“When they put it out of the cage I was like oh wow, it’s so cute!” said student Reina Pleitz.

Sampson will be at the Forest Park Zoo through the summer for all to enjoy.

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