On Sunday, April 7, four Asiatic Lion cubs were born to parents Zulu, the father, and Tia, the mother, at the Emmen Zoo in Holland. The night house den had been cleared of other Lions so Tia could spend the critical first days and weeks bonding with her babies behind the scenes. Through the use of a live webcam, keepers have been able to keep a close eye on the little family, and have observed the four avidly nursing, and growing bigger and livelier by the day under Tia's excellent care. The sex of the cubs has not yet been determined.
The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), also known as the Indian Lion, is a lion subspecies. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN based on the small population size. These Lions once prowled from the Middle East to India, but now it is estimated that only 200 to 260 of them are left in the wild, as an isolated population found in India's Gujarat State. Once a royal hunting ground, today India's Gir Forest is a reserve where these Endangered Lions are heavily protected.
Photo Credit: Photo 1: Rob Doolaard, all others: Emmen Zoo
The zoo announced they are having a local contest, the winner of which will be able to have a live peek at the cubs. That will happen on April 25, but you can tune in right now to see them all via the zoo's live stream by clicking HERE.
See more pictures of mom and cubs after the fold: