Seneca Park Zoo has welcomed two African Lion cubs born on March 7. The pair, a male and a female, were born to first time parents Asha and Chester. Soon after their birth, in consultation with the Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program, the Seneca Park Zoo’s animal care staff began hand-raising them. This decision became necessary when the mother stopped nursing and caring for her babies. After two months of care by zoo staff, the cubs will re-join their parents.
County Zoo Director Larry Sorel said, "Because our lions' genetics ar so valuale to lions in conservation care, it was important we do everything we could to ensure their survival. Lions are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Most live in eastern and southern Africa, where their numbers are rapidly decreasing due to habitat loss and conflict with humans.