It turns out that Clay, a one-year-old lion kept at Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo, is not a male but a female.

The zoo plans to return Clay to the zoo in Ehime Prefecture, where he was born.

Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo City held a press conference on the 1st and announced that 1-year-old "Clay", who had been kept as a male lion, was found to be a female.

According to the zoo, Clay was born at the Ehime Prefectural Tobe Zoo in May 2022 and was diagnosed as male when he was 20 days old.

In October 2023, the lions were moved to Maruyama Zoo, where they were looking for male lions, but many of the males showed no growth in their manes even after they were 1 year and 6 months old. A blood test revealed that it was female.

Clay will be returning to Tobe Zoo in the future.

Kotaro Hayashi, head of breeding and exhibition at Maruyama Zoo, said, ``Since it was determined to be a male while growing up in artificial care, no zoo has any doubts about its gender.Up until now, there has been no difference in the breeding method for males and females at this stage of growth. "I don't think there is a problem with that. The zoo would like to make every effort to display male lions."

A man in his 20s who came for sightseeing from outside Hokkaido said, ``I was surprised.It made me realize that there are still many things we don't understand, even when it comes to animals.''

A woman in her 50s said, ``She came to Maruyama Zoo after learning that she was actually a female. I thought she had gotten used to our environment, so I'm sad to see her go.'' I was there.