Zoo staff baffled after lioness suddenly grows a mane 

Personnel at the Oklahoma City Zoo are working hard to solve the mystery of an 18-year-old lioness named Bridget who suddenly sprouted a partial mane. 

At this time, the long hair has grown only in the lower face and neck and upper chest areas, and veterinarians are keeping a close watch on the situation. 

Hormones are a possible cause, and the surprising growth could be due to either ovarian or adrenal gland issues, notes ABC News.

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Animals at the Oklahoma City Zoo
***EXCLUSIVE*** OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - UNDATED: Chimpanzee Ruben seen resting moments after meeting his new surrogate mum, Kito, at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, USA. MEET Ruben - the cute chimpanzee who is smiling for the first time after being accepted by his surrogate mum. The eight-month-old chimp suffered a tough start to life with his biological mother Rukiya dying 24 hours after labour. And to make matters worse, he was then treated roughly by his father - prompting keepers at Tampa's Lowry Zoo to begin a desperate search for a surrogate mum. But despite the odds, and one failed adoption, adorable Ruben has finally found a loving mother to care for him at Oklahoma City Zoo. He now happily plays, smiles and hugs his new mum Kito at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, where they run a successful surrogacy program for abandoned animals. PHOTOGRAPH BY OKC Zoo / Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media via Getty Images
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 23: Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook entertains a crowd of fans on March 23, 2014 at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Zoo's 14-year-old Clouded leopard, Luke, will be receiving his annual wellness exam at the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital on Thursday, March 1 at 9 a.m.! Can't make it in person? Watch live on our Facebook page, where viewers are encouraged to ask Luke's care team questions throughout the entire exam. 📷: Gillian Lang #wildaboutwellness #okczoo
Nothing is out of reach - soon it will be your hay day! #MondayMotivation #mondaymantra #reachforit #hayday #elephantastic #ambassadorsofawe 📷: Gillian Lang
Co-what-i? #DYK a coati uses its long, flexible nose to probe gaps between rocks and search under piles of leaves for grub? Go and see Coatis, Lando and BB-8, in the Zoo's Cat Forest habitat this Sunday funday! 📷: Gillian Lang #okczoo #careconnectconserve #closenoughtocare #didyouknow #sundayfunday
Repost from @joelsartore of @natgeo #PhotoArk - Yucatan box turtles are unique in that the males have quite striking facial pigmentation. Some are pigmented so strongly that it is almost reminiscent of makeup. Because males are so ornate, scientists once believed that female Yucatan turtles were a completely different species than their male counterparts. These turtles can only be found in the Yucatan peninsula and are very elusive; they are rarely encountered by humans and are often only seen during or after rain. This male Yucatan box turtle at @OKCzoo loves to emerge from his hiding place for an evening mist before retiring for the night. He, along with three others of his kind are housed together and get along very well. Turtles and tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrates in the world, with wild populations across the globe declining sharply as a result of harvesting by humans for pet and food markets. In addition to caring for and breeding endangered turtles and tortoises, the @okczoo partners with @turtlesurvival Alliance (TSA) to conserve turtles. TSA works in turtle hotspots in 15 countries, leading conservation efforts that include enforcing laws that protect turtles, rehabilitating and releasing turtles confiscated from traffickers, and breeding and releasing endangered turtle species. #savingspecies #savethemall #careconnectconserve #okczoo
Happy #Caturday! Have you missed this sweet face? With the exciting changes happening on Zoo grounds, the pathway that goes past BC the cheetah's habitat has been inaccessible to guests. For a brief amount of time, the pathway will be open and guests can view BC, the okapi, the zebras and the African painted dogs! 📷: Gillian Lang #okczoo #savingspecies #awholenewzoo #closeenoughtocare
The OKC Zoo is celebrating two very special birthdays today – Rocky and Qadeer's! Rocky the River otter is 3, and Qadeer the chimpanzee is 33! Happy birthday, you two! 🎉 #okczoo #ambassadorsofawe #careconnectconserve #birthdayboys #otters #chimpanzees 📷: Gillian Lang
***EXCLUSIVE*** OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - UNDATED: Chimpanzee Ruben plays up for the camera at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, USA. MEET Ruben - the cute chimpanzee who is smiling for the first time after being accepted by his surrogate mum. The eight-month-old chimp suffered a tough start to life with his biological mother Rukiya dying 24 hours after labour. And to make matters worse, he was then treated roughly by his father - prompting keepers at Tampa's Lowry Zoo to begin a desperate search for a surrogate mum. But despite the odds, and one failed adoption, adorable Ruben has finally found a loving mother to care for him at Oklahoma City Zoo. He now happily plays, smiles and hugs his new mum Kito at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, where they run a successful surrogacy program for abandoned animals. PHOTOGRAPH BY OKC Zoo / Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media via Getty Images
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 23: Oklahoma City Thunder player Kendrick Perkins entertains a crowd of fans on March 23, 2014 at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
The OKC Zoo is closed today, Feb. 21, due to inclement weather! #okwx #okczoo #winterweather #oklahoma #snowsabi
OKC Zoo veterinary caretakers are working to solve a very curious case; Bridget, the Zoo’s 18-year-old African lioness, has suddenly sprouted a mini-mane. In males, manes develop at about one-year-old and are a product of increased production of the hormone testosterone. The OKC Zoo’s male lion, Hubert, 6, has a robust, dark mane while Tia, Bridget’s 18-year-old sister, remains mane-less. Bridget’s mane growth occurred between March and November 2017. Zoo veterinary staff will continue to monitor her closely, but this condition is not likely to affect Bridget’s quality of life. They report that, other than the extra hair, they see no change in her health status. Learn more about Bridget’s mini-mane by clicking the link in our bio. 📷: Mandi Sorenson, carnivore caretaker #okczoo #careconnectconserve #lioness #lion #wildaboutwellness
Relax, refresh and recharge – easy like Sunday morning! Cute little Cash has no trouble catching some sweet ZZZ’s ♥️ 💤 📷:Jenny Egelhoff , assistant curator marine mammals #okczoo #savingspecies #careconnectconserve #sundayvibes #sleepysunday #ambassadorsofawe
#repost from @joelsartore - Happy World Pangolin Day from this mother pangolin and her baby, Opal! These unique looking mammals have tongues as long as their bodies, a prehensile tail, and no teeth! Though their scales may look like something out of a sci-fi movie, they’re actually made of the same material as our fingernails. In many traditional cultures, there is a highly misguided belief that these scales contain therapeutic properties, which has resulted in the poaching of millions of pangolins in the past decade. Now, with Asian pangolins becoming increasingly rare, smugglers have started to turn their attention to African pangolins. Despite being given the strongest international protections, smuggled scales from approximately 110,000 poached African pangolins have been seized just in the past year. These incredible animals are now threatened with extinction, but thankfully many programs have been initiated to help save them. The two white-bellied tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis) pictured reside at @PangolinConservation in Florida, and belong to a collaborative conservation effort called the Pangolin Consortium, where they are also implementing projects to allow the public to engage in pangolin conservation. To find out more about how you can help save pangolins in the wild, click the links in the bios of @PangolinConservation and @VietnamWildlife! #savethemall #worldpangolinday #pangolin #savingspecies #photoark #natgeo #protectwhatyoulove
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, North America
Happy National Hippo Day to Wolee and Franny! Click the link in our bio to read an update on these two happy hippos! #nationalhippoday #okczoo #hippo #pygmyhippo #careconnectconserve 📷: Gillian Lang
This year is for the birds! Put your birdwatching skills to good use on Feb. 17 and 19 at the OKC Zoo's Great Backyard Bird Count, a global citizen science project that invites people to count native birds and help create a real-time look at wild populations! To learn more, visit okczoo.org or click over to our Facebook event page. #okczoo #bird #birdcount #yearofthebird #natgeo Photo: Gillian Lang
***EXCLUSIVE*** OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - UNDATED: Chimpanzee Ruben hitches a ride on his surrogate mum Kito's back at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, USA. MEET Ruben - the cute chimpanzee who is smiling for the first time after being accepted by his surrogate mum. The eight-month-old chimp suffered a tough start to life with his biological mother Rukiya dying 24 hours after labour. And to make matters worse, he was then treated roughly by his father - prompting keepers at Tampa's Lowry Zoo to begin a desperate search for a surrogate mum. But despite the odds, and one failed adoption, adorable Ruben has finally found a loving mother to care for him at Oklahoma City Zoo. He now happily plays, smiles and hugs his new mum Kito at Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma, where they run a successful surrogacy program for abandoned animals. PHOTOGRAPH BY Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media via Getty Images
Huddle up, cuddle up or bundle up? ❄️ 🌨 What’s your go-to method for enduring the winter weather? Loving this cute fan photo of our prairie dogs. 📷: Nathan Griffith #bestfriendgoals #wednesdaywisdom #okczoo #careconnectconserve #okwx
Cash receives a variety of enrichment every day including socializing with trainers, playing with toys and water splashing! Recently, this new hammock made out of donated fire hose has become his frequent resting spot. If you don’t see him during your visit, he's likely napping inside. Get updated on Cash and Phoenix, and learn all about our sea lions' winter care plan in our newest animal story! (Link in our bio) #okczoo #enrichment #careconnectconserve #ambassadorsofawe #toocute #naps #sealions
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A blood sample has been taken and analysis is underway.

The zoo notes in a Facebook post that the mane is unlikely to impact Bridget’s quality of life.

It also states that “other than the extra hair,” there is “no change in her health status.” 

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