A litter of four male African Lion cubs born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on November 19 is out of the den and playing outside.
The yet-to-be-named cubs are doing very well under the watchful eye of their mother Maya and are developing on schedule. This is the second litter of cubs for Maya and her mate Lazarus. Their last litter was born in February 2015.
Though the family has been secluded in their den for the last two months, keepers monitored them via a video camera link. By staying hands-off, keepers gave Maya and her babies time to bond. Because Maya is an experienced mother, keepers had confidence in her ability to care for four cubs.
The cubs recently had their first health check and received their first vaccinations. All four had a clean bill of health. At birth, each cub weighed about three pounds; they now weigh about 18 pounds each.
The cubs have just started sampling solid foods and exploring outside their den behind the scenes.
African Lions are classified as Vulnerable in the wild with populations decreasing due to human-animal conflict, depleted prey base, and habitat loss.