Lion

Daddy Day Care at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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African Lion Cub, ‘Evelyn’, recently spent a beautiful morning, at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, tackling her regal father, ‘Izu’. Evelyn is one of four cubs who, for the first time, are sharing the Lion Camp Habitat with their father. Prior to this, the almost four-month-old cubs only had visual access to the adult male while being cared for solely by their mother, ‘Oshana.’

During the October 2nd photo-op, all four of the cubs eagerly ran into the grassy habitat with their mother, who stayed a short distance away.  Izu tried to remain patient as the cubs, three females and one male, took turns pouncing, climbing and sniffing at him, even swiping playfully at his tail.

The four cubs were born on June 22nd and are named ‘Ernest’, ‘Evelyn’, ‘Marion’, and ‘Miss Ellen’, in honor of longtime San Diego Zoo Global supporters Ernest and Evelyn Rady and Marion Wilson, and in memory of Miss Ellen Browning Scripps, the San Diego Zoo's first benefactor.

Visitors to the Safari Park's Lion Camp may see Oshana, Izu and their cubs daily.

 


Name Dropping at the Oregon Zoo

OregonZoo_AfricanLionCubs_2On September 8th, beautiful African Lion Cubs were born at the Oregon Zoo. The healthy trio was the first offspring for their seven-year-old mother, ‘Kya’, and father, ‘Zawadi Mungu’. Now, the cubs are 4-weeks-old, adventurous, feisty…and they need names! 

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OregonZoo_AfricanLionCubs_5Photo Credits: Michael Durham /Oregon Zoo

Until now, the zoo's animal-care staff has referred to the two females and one male by the last digit of the numbers they were assigned as part of the International Species Information System: 6, 7 and 8.

"They're bonding well, and we're starting to see their personalities," Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo’s Africa section said. "We think it's time to give them names that suit them."

Keepers have selected two possible names for each cub and are asking the public to vote.

Votes can be cast via an online survey, linked here: “Lion Cub Name Vote

Votes will be accepted through Thursday, Oct. 9. The zoo will announce the winning names on Friday, Oct. 10.

"A lot of animals at the zoo get their names from nations or cultures associated with their species' native habitats," Weiner said. "And for these cubs, we wanted to bring attention to what's happening in their range countries. Just two decades ago, lions were plentiful in much of Africa, but today they are vanishing at alarming rates. The wild lion population is estimated to have dropped by 75 percent since 1990."

The zoo's three adult lions (Zawadi, Neka and Kya) came to the Oregon Zoo, in 2009, based on a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for African Lions. Zawadi, the male, came from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the females, Neka and Kya, came from the Virginia Zoo and Wisconsin's Racine Zoo respectively.

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New Pride at Philly Zoo

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The Philadelphia Zoo recently celebrated the public debut of some amazing new residents: Four African Lion cubs!

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PhillyZooLionCubs_3Photo Credits: Philadelphia Zoo

Two of the cubs were born on June 25th, and the other two were born the next day on the 26th.  The proud mother is four-year-old Tajiri, and their father is five-year-old Makini. They are the first lion cubs born at the Philadelphia Zoo since 1996, and the quad makes their home at the zoo’s First Niagara Big Cat Falls.

Keepers have tried to keep first time mom, Tajiri, as comfortable as possible and allow her as much space as she desires with her new family.  It will be a little while longer before keepers are allowed to get close enough to the cubs to determine their sexes. However, the cubs have been given names. The Philadelphia Zoo conducted a contest, through social media, and the public was able to cast votes for their favorite names for the cubs.  Mali, Kataba, Sabi, and Msinga are already known to be as unique as their new monikers.  Kataba has marks on both front feet, Mali has no dye marks, Msinga has a lighter mark on the left front foot, and Sabi has a mark on the left hind foot.

See more, learn more, below the fold.

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Feeling Chipper at Zoo Basel

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Seven Miniature Zebus, in the Children’s Zoo of Zoo Basel, Switzerland, have recently been given identification in the form of a microchip the size of a grain of rice.

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Zwergziegen_behandeln_ZOB6032Photo Credits: Zoo Basel

The microchip, also called a transponder, is fitted by a veterinarian beneath the skin, above the shoulder blades and contains a fifteen-digit code that can be read using a small mobile reader. Information on the microchip allows quick access for veterinarians, and includes date of birth, parentage, offspring, and medical conditions or treatment. The ability to differentiate between individual animals of a particular species is also required by the breeding initiatives sponsored by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which enables zoos to ensure genetic diversity among their populations.

The veterinarians were assisted during the procedures by two young Children’s Zoo volunteers.  The girls, who work regularly with the animals at Zoo Basel, kept the animals calm and relaxed during the fitting.

Since the procedure cannot be performed on adult animals without anesthesia, the chips are, ideally, fitted at a very early age. In addition to the Miniature Zebu calves, several other species of zoo babies received microchips.  A Lion cub, Snow Leopard cub, a critically endangered African Wild Ass foal, and a young Sable Antelope received the transponders.  

See more photos below the fold.

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Dublin Zoo's New Mane Man

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Dublin Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of an Asian Lion cub!  The male cub was born to mother, Zuri, and dad, Kumar, who arrived, last year, to Dublin Zoo from Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands.

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Asian lion cub_Dublin_1Photo Credits: Patrick Bolger

Also know as the Indian Lion, the entire wild population of the Asian Lion can be found in the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Gujarat, India.  Although, the lion was on the brink of extinction some 40 years ago, with wild population estimates at less than 200 individuals, the Asian Lion remains on the endangered list.  There are only estimated to be between 300 and 400 individuals in India. The birth of this Asian Lion cub is very significant for Dublin Zoo and the international breeding programme for this critically endangered species. 

According to the animal care team at Dublin Zoo, the lion cub is bonding well with his parents, first time mum Zuri and experienced dad Kumar.

Team leader Ciaran McMahon said, “We're thrilled about the arrival of the cub. He has a wonderfully playful and curious personality. It's lovely to see Zuri taking to her role as a new mum so well, and Kumar is as cool and calm as ever. At two months old, he now weighs an estimated 6.6kg (14.5 lbs).”

McMahon also said, “In the past, Dublin Zoo was very successful breeding African Lions. It is now of great conservation importance for zoos to maintain a viable population of critically endangered Asian Lions.”

See more photos below the fold.

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Rare Asiatic Lion Cubs Have Their First Checkup

13935707150_ce0058ef2b_bThree Asiatic Lion cubs born on March 27 at Finland’s Helsinki Zoo had their first vet visit at five weeks of age.  

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14122325415_9347177432_bPhoto Credit:  Mari Lehmonen

The Zoo staff lured the three-year-old mother to another area of the exhibit, and the veterinary staff swooped in for a quick exam.  The cubs are still small enough to be handled safely, and they received vaccinations and gender checks. 

According to the staff, the cubs are “chubby,” so it’s clear that their mother is caring for them properly.  And if you watch the video, you'll see that the cubs have no trouble airing their displeasure with the veterinary staff.

To date, the cubs have been with their mother in a cubbing den behind the scenes.  The staff has watched the new family on closed circuit cameras.  The cubs won’t be on public display until sometime in June. 

Wild Asiatic Lions live only in northwestern India in the Gir forest area.  Because only about 400 individual lions live in the wild, they are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Though this number is small, the population has more than doubled from a low of only 180 individuals in 1974. These cats once ranged into central Asia and the Middle East as recently as the 20th century. 

Because the current wild population is derived from only a few cats, inbreeding is one of the greatest threats to Asiatic Lions.  In addition, the Gir forest is under intense pressure from an encroaching human population. 

See more photos below.

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First Look at Zoo Miami's Lion Cubs

Kashifa cub 8 IBFour Lion cubs born on March 6 at Zoo Miami were viewed in person for the first time last week after spending more than a month in the den with their mother.

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Kashifa cubs 12 IBPhoto Credit:  Ivy Brower

Until now, zoo keepers have viewed the new family only by closed circuit camera.  Last week, they were able to temporarily separate the mother, four-year-old Kashifa, to get a closer look at the cubs.  

In the wild, Lion cubs remain in the den or hidden in brush for about six weeks, when they are old enough to join the pride.  Zoo Miami’s four cubs are not yet on public display, and are expected to remain behind the scenes with Kashifa for a few more weeks.

See more cub photos below!

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Zoo Miami's Lion Cub Makes His First Public Appearance

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For the first time in Zoo Miami history, a Lioness and her cub went on public exhibit together. First-time mother Asha and her three month old male cub K'wasi thrilled zoo guests last week as they explored the exhibit and interacted together. 

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Photo Credit:  Ron Magill

You’d never know by looking at him, but K’wasi had a rough start in life.  ZooBorns chronicled his difficult journey here and here.  When he was just a few weeks old, he battled bacterial infections and lost weight.  Thanks to supplemental bottles from zoo keepers, K’wasi has made a comeback.

See more photos of Asha and K'wasi below the fold.

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Update: Zoo Miami's Lion Cub is Thriving

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A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a male Lion cub born December 15 at Zoo Miami.  Shortly after the cub was born to first-time mother Asha, keepers observed that he was losing weight.  He then faced several bacterial infections.  To help the little cub, keepers began offering a supplemental bottle to the cub three times a day.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the zoo staff, the little cub is now thriving and his prognosis for long-term survival is good.  The cub was recently separated from Asha for a quick physical exam and received his vaccinations.  Asha welcomed her cub back without hesitation after the brief exam. 

The cub, who has not yet been named, will remain off-exhibit with Asha for several weeks.  Eventually, he will be introduced to the rest of the zoo’s Lion pride.




When Mom's Away, the Cubs Get Weighed!

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Last week at Smithsonian National Zoo, African Lion mother Naba spent some time away from her cubs and enjoyed a special oxtail treat with her sister, Shera. Keepers took the opportunity to get their first in-person look at the cubs. Their report: they are adorable! 

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6 lionPhoto credit: Smithsonian National Zoo / Karen Abbott

In order to distinguish the two, keepers shaved a small mark on each cub. The smaller cub, who weighs 7.6 pounds (3.4 kg), has a shave mark on his/her left shoulder. The larger cub, who weighs 8.26 pounds (3.7 kg), has a small shave mark at the base of his/her tail. Animal care staff have not yet verified the cubs’ sex. (Just shy of 2 weeks old, the cubs’ genetalia have not fully developed.) 

When Naba returned to the cubbing den, she groomed and nursed the cubs. She didn’t show any signs of stress. Keepers gave her the option to move the cubs to a different set of cubbing dens, but Naba choose to keep them where they were. 

Watch the little lion family grow on the zoo's Cub Cam.