The Dallas Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of the first African Lion in more than 40 years.
The female cub, named Bahati Moja, was born on March 17. Bahati Moja means “lucky one” in Swahili, a fitting name for a cub born on St. Patrick’s Day and who has overcome considerable odds to enter the world.
Bahati Moja’s mother, Lina, had previously delivered stillborn cubs. The zoo’s veterinary team assisted Lina to ensure a successful outcome, and Bahati Moja is now called a “miracle baby” by the zoo staff.
As a result of the professionalism and dedication of the keepers and veterinary staff, Bahati Moja is developing right on schedule as she bonds with Lina in the den. Keepers report that the little cub is nursing, gaining weight, and getting feisty. Mom and cub will remain behind the scenes for a few months before venturing into the Lion habitat.
African Lions (and their counterparts, Asiatic Lions) once dwelled across most of Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Today, Asiatic Lions have nearly vanished from the wild, and African Lions’, once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, have dwindled to as few as 20,000 individuals. African Lions are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.