The “Three Little Kings” at Zoo Basel are growing up! At almost eight-months-old, the boys are nearly tall as Dad, and their youthful spots (or rosettes) are beginning to fade.
ZooBorns introduced the family to readers this past summer, and you can see pics of their younger days, in that article: “Three New Boys for Zoo Basel’s Lion Pride”
The pride of African Lions, at Zoo Basel, increased by three this past summer. On May 28, Okoa gave birth to two male cubs, and on June 15, Uma delivered another male cub. The two lionesses’ gave birth to their young in the same area and are raising them together. Mbali is father to all three boys and has proven a playful participant in their upbringing.
African Lions are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There has been an estimated population decline of 30-50%, in the last 20 years. Noted causes for the decline include disease and human interference. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are considered the most significant threats to the species. The remaining populations are often geographically isolated from one another, which can lead to inbreeding, and consequently, reduced genetic diversity.
Zoo Basel supports the Big Life Foundation, which works in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya to protect the Lions. The Zoo is also a participant in the EAZA Endangered Species Breeding Programme for African Lions.
More pics below the fold!