Samson is very devoted to his zoo friends Benny, Bridget, Nigel, Larry, and son Ryan. Samson is kind and loving and enjoys telling Ryan stories about the wild, though none of them were actually true. Samson was born in the circus as a cub. He was very timid back then and was unable to roar, much like his son. After failing to roar at a mechanical wildebeest, Samson's father told a wild lion could roar before allowing Samson to be shipped to the New York Zoo. This proves that Samson was not from the wild, which he kept secret from everyone except Benny. However, he eventually reveals this to the others and Ryan during the film's climax. With some motivation from his son, Samson digs deep down and uses his mighty roar to defeat Kazar, the leader of the wildebeests. He then rescues Ryan, and all the animals (including Kazar's minons) head home.