VISITORS are being encouraged to visit Newquay Zoo before their three African lions leave Cornwall for a new home at Paignton Zoo in Devon this spring.

The much loved pride consists of male, Boss, along with his sisters Amahle and Semira.

Amahle joined Newquay Zoo back in 2014, while Boss and Semira joined a few months after.

Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo are both managed by the conservation charity Wild Planet Trust, which is dedicated to helping halt species decline.

Last year, Paignton Zoo made the decision to send its Asiatic lion, Yali, to Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland to be paired with a female as part of an international breeding programme.

Falmouth Packet: Boss's sisters Amahle and SemiraBoss's sisters Amahle and Semira (Image: Newquay Zoo)

Work on the lion enclosure has recently been completed and their new Devonshire home is ready to welcome the trio.

Head of Conservation Services Clare Rugg said: "We are very pleased that we can now welcome Boss, Semira, and Amahle to Paignton Zoo. Both Paignton and Newquay Zoo have changed substantially over the years and as a science-led charitable trust, we are constantly reviewing the ways in which we look after our animals.

"The welfare of our animals is our top priority and the lion enclosure at Paignton Zoo is much larger than the one at Newquay, so will provide our three lions with substantially more room."

Transporting the lions has taken months of planning to ensure the process is as safe as possible for the lions and for everyone involved in the operation.

On the day of the move there will be a large team on hand including keepers, vets and drivers, along with two vehicles for transportation.

Falmouth Packet: Newquay Zoo's much-loved lynx, KicsiNewquay Zoo's much-loved lynx, Kicsi (Image: Newquay Zoo)

Once the lions have left, work will begin on developing the enclosure to create a larger home for much loved resident lynx, Kicsi.

Details of the new development will be revealed soon, and the zoo will be welcoming a rare pair of West African crowned cranes to live in the enclosure while plans are finalised.

Head of Campaigns and Programmes, Steve Nash added: "Newquay Zoo has been home to lions for many years and we know there will be many people, staff and visitors alike, who will miss them a great deal.

"They have a fantastic new home at Paignton and we look forward to sharing updates as they settle in and explore their new surroundings.

"We’re also really excited about sharing our plans for the lynx enclosure. Our lynx have been much loved residents of the zoo for many years, so the opportunity to create a much larger home, and bring in a new mate for Kicsi, is one we’re eager to get started on."

Further updates on the move and Newquay Zoo’s new planned arrival can be found on Newquay Zoo’s Facebook page.