Learning to Roar at Werribee Zoo

Learning to Roar (like a lion)

To celebrate the recent litter of lion cubs (in late 2015) Werribee Zoo has decided to run a series of programs (targeting all ages) showcasing lions and making learning both interesting and fun, while you’re learning to roar with the lion cubs.

When: Daily until 10 April (see schedule below) during visiting hours (with lion activities happening between 11.30am – 2.30pm)

Where:  Werribee Open Range Zoo, K Road WERRIBEE

Cost: Adults $31.60, members FREE and kids under 16 are FREE every weekend, Victorian Government school and public holidays!  More information click here.

Words & pictures by Sally T. Ridden.  Lion images courtesy of Zoos Victoria

Today’s exciting adventure took us out to the wild terrain of the purely carnivorous lion pride, no not to the sub-Saharan Africa but Werribee Open Zoo, just 30 minutes from the CBD (or 35 kms west of Melbourne’s city centre). 

After a quick visit to see the cute baby Meerkat we followed the lion footprints on the pavement played spotto to follow the lion arrows overhead to the Lion enclose for the 11.30am Lion Talk.  Here the audience sat in the outdoor stadium seating glass theater whilst the kids piled onto a safari truck to view the horizon and glimpse the lion pride. 

Unfortunately, the lions were sleeping and so we did not get much of a view but we did get to hear all about what they eat (red meat varieties of beef, kangaroo and goat) at no particular feeding times and with feed days and starve days incorporated to recreate a natural feeding cycle.  We also learned the older pride do not mix with the younger pride as they do not recognize each other’s family group.  Most importantly for our kids generation, they learnt that since 2008 the Lion status in Africa and India is listed as “red list” vulnerable by IUCN due to a combination of trophy hunters, farmers protecting livestock, disease and habitat destruction caused by humans causing a loss of prey cycle.

The three new cubs adventurous Kubwa, sleepy Kashka & shy Kito were born just last year on 20th October 2015 and it was proud mummy lion Nilo 1st litter and dad Johari takes his role seriously, as the curious and cautious leader of the lion pride. Johari can reach speeds of 80k/h and his roar can be heard up to 8km away.

We next ventured to the 12.30pm performance by Ghanaian Musician Shabba Essun,  How the Lion Got its Roar Back in the African Village large hut, kids learnt the important skills of what it takes to be a lion cub – how to stalk, prowl, pounce and most importantly learning to roar like a Lion, a total African adventure just close to home. I would recommend the show is for 6yrs and under.

We did not make it to the Ranger Kids dress up and learning to care for plush animals as the kids just wanted to see and experience all of the open safari zoo.  Make sure you allow for a 25-minute wait for the zoo safari bus.  Luckily the open buses seat 110-140 pax per tour so the queue does in fact move every 10 minutes to schedule.

It’s a fabulous informative, visual and physical day at Werribee Zoo with so much to see and physically do, today we definitely focused on the Lions and loved learning to roar like one. But, beware: the lion cub roaring has not stopped for the last 8hrs in our house!

Daily Schedule

  • Lion Keeper Talk | 25 March – 24 June, 11.30am | Lion Enclosure
  • How the Lion Got its Roar performance | 25 March – 10 April, 11.30am and 12.30pm | African Village
  • Lion Lawn Games | 25 March – 10 April, 11.50am – 12.10am and 12.50am – 1.10pm | African Village
  • Lion dress-ups + learn how to care for your plush animal | 25 March – 24 June, 10.30am – 2.30pm | Ranger Kids