One of the world’s largest zoos, Gaziantep Zoo in southeastern Turkey, has become the scene of sweet competition with the recent arrival of a new lion cub.
The throne of chimpanzee Can as symbol of the zoo has been shaken by Cesur (Brave), a lion cub recently found abandoned in a car in the Şırnak province’s Cizre district.
Can, who was born a year ago but was abandoned by his mother and taken care of by zoo officials like a baby, has become the symbol and mascot of the zoo. Photos of Can were hung on various billboards across Gaziantep, but the two-month-old Cesur is now the focus of interest in the zoo.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Celal Özsöyler, the head of Gaziantep Municipality’s Wildlife Protection Department, said the zoo was the fourth biggest in the world and competition was fierce to become its symbolic face.
“Our chimpanzee Can was born nearly a year ago and we named him Can. But these days Cesur the lion has started shaking his throne. Visitors want to see Cesur and he is drawing considerable attention. There is such a sweet competition between Can and Cesur,” Özsöyler added.
He noted that thanks to animals like Can and Cesur the zoo aims to reach a total number of 3.5 million visitors this year.