Getting five Lion cubs to look at the camera at the same time is not easy, but the staff at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium enjoy trying. You may have first learned about these two male and three female African Lion cubs, born on December 29, here or here on Zooborns.
First-time mom Mfisha, six years old, has her paws full but is clearly doing a great job. The cubs are weighed every day and are growing as they should, including one female, who was having trouble nursing early on. After spending eight days in the hospital to improve her health, she was put back with her siblings, mom and aunt, though she continued to be bottle fed by keepers.
African Lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). Over the last 20 years the lion population has estimated to have declined from 30% to 50%. African lions live in sub-Sahara Africa with the majority in east and southern Africa.
Read more about this beautiful species after the fold:
The cubs are an important part of an SSP (Species Survival Plan) recommendation. The subspecies, krugeri, is the focus of AZA’s (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Felid Taxon Advisory Group to concentrate zoo efforts nationwide to breed lions of known lineage. There have been eleven African Lion births in the last twelve months at AZA accredited zoos in North America. The count does not take these cubs into account.
Their father, Mr. Big, is 14 years old and weighs 560 pounds. He also lives in the zoo's Cat Complex, in a separate habitat. This is the first litter for both lions.