Cuenca’s Bioparque, el Zoológico Amaru, had its grand opening in December. The park boasts animals native to Ecuador and the mountain highland ecosystem surrounding Cuenca, in addition to animals from other parts of the world. Most of the animals are rescued from people who don’t know what it means to take care of exotic species, and the three adult lions who call the zoo home are no exception. Ernesto Arbelaez, the zoo’s founder, boycotted a circus with some of his friends until the circus agreed to release the large cats. Now Simba, Afra, and Kiara live in an enclosure with sufficient space to move around and search for the pig heads Ernesto hides to keep their hunting instincts sharp. The adults also live with Afra and Simba’s three cubs, affectionately referred to as “los primeros leónes Ceuncanos, or the first Cuencan lions.