Lion

Zoo Miami's First Ever Lion Cubs!

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For the first time in the 33 year history of Zoo Miami, the birth of Lions is being celebrated!  On Tuesday, September 24th, “Kashifa’” a 3 year, 8 month old Lioness gave birth to three cubs in a special den off exhibit.  Until today, the cubs were being observed in that den via a closed circuit camera which indicated that the newborns are being well cared for by the first time mother.  This morning, zoo staff was successful in shifting the mother, which allowed the separation of the cubs and subsequent safe access for their neonatal examination.  The examination enabled staff to determine the sex of the cubs as well as obtain weights while carefully evaluating their overall condition.  In addition, they received microchips for identification.  The two males and single female appeared to be in excellent health weighing between 1.63kg and 1.75kg and will remain off exhibit with their mother for approximately 3 months until zoo staff feels confident that the cubs can be introduced to the rest of the pride and safely navigate the exhibit with the adults.

Kashifa is one of four Lions that form the pride at Zoo Miami.  She shares the exhibit with her sister, Asha, and two unrelated brothers, Jabari and Kwame.  Both females were born at the Bronx Zoo in New York in January of 2010 and the males were born at the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin in September of 2007.   It is not known for sure which if the two brothers is the father of the cubs as both males had equal access to the females. 

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These cubs were born as part of a carefully planned breeding that was the result of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation.  Species Survival Plans are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) mission to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered species populations in accredited institutions.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold...

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Oregon Zoo's Lion Pride Grows

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Neka, a 6-year-old African Lion at the Oregon Zoo, gave birth to three healthy cubs on September 7 between about 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. The litter represents the first offspring for Neka and Zawadi Mungu, the cubs' 5-year-old father. Veterinarians and animal-care staff conducted their first examination of the 12-day-old cubs on Septmeber 19, and answered a question that's been on a lot of people's minds: all three cubs are girls! The neonatal checkup took place a day earlier than planned after keepers, who had been monitoring the young lions via surveillance camera, noticed one of the cubs wasn't interacting with the other two.

"We had planned on doing our first exam tomorrow," said curator Jennifer Davis, who oversees the zoo's Africa and primate areas. "But this morning, keepers noticed one cub seemed lethargic and wasn't active with the other two. We reviewed our surveillance tapes, and saw that she hadn't nursed at any of the overnight feedings, so we decided to move the exam to today."

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See a video of the birth:

  

Sneak a peek at their first checkup:

 

Davis said animal-care staffers first separated Neka from the cubs by offering a treat.

"We gave her a nice hearty bone to enjoy while we conducted the exam," Davis said. "Neka did great and didn't seem upset at all that we were in there with her babies — it really shows the great relationship and trust she has with her care team."

With mom thus occupied, the zoo's animal-care staff entered the private maternity den and conducted a complete physical exam on all three cubs, confirming that all are female, with weights ranging from about 2½ to 4½ pounds.

"The one we are concerned about was dehydrated and had low body temperature and blood-sugar levels," Davis said. "We warmed her up and gave her some supplemental food and fluids. The other two appear to be robust and healthy. They've been nursing regularly, and they're moving around a lot and vocalizing. One is definitely larger and more 'outspoken' than the others — we've nicknamed her Feisty."

See and read more after the fold!

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UPDATE! Lion Cub Sisters at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Get Their Names

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Florida's Busch Gardens Tampa recently welcomed three Lion cubs to the park, one male and two females (who are unrelated to the male), as previously covered HERE on ZooBorns. They can be identified by their size -- the two smaller cubs are the sisters, while the slightly larger cub is the male. After a week-long poll, 6,000 Busch Gardens Tampa Facebook fans voted to name the two Lion cub sisters. The winning picks for the three-month-old cubs are Shaba, meaning “brazen”, and Shtuko, meaning “twitch”.

Visitors can now see the antics of these three adorable Lion cubs at the zoo's Edge of Africa exhibit at various times throughout the day and week. All three cubs are very playful and love to run, chase, and stalk each other, as can be seen in the video at the bottom of this page. But after all that playtime, they are just as good at taking a cat nap!

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Photo Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Check out this great video of the cubs at play:


Lion Cubs Get Their Pounce On at Monarto Zoo

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Monarto Zoo recently announced that it has one male and two female lion cubs, whose sex was confirmed during the cubs’ first vet check on the morning of June 5th. It was the first time Monarto Zoo staff had the opportunity to directly interact with the cubs, which were born on April 24th, to review their physical health, administer their first vaccines and determine their sex. The cubs have spent the majority of their time tucked away inside a den being cared for by their mum Tiombe with zookeepers initially keeping their distance to give the new family complete privacy during the important bonding period.

Acting Team Leader of Carnivores, Claire Geister, said the male and two female cubs have grown leaps and bounds thanks to Tiombe’s excellent care. “We’re thrilled to have three happy, healthy little cubs! All were given a clean bill of health and have the cutest little milk bellies,” Geister said. “The health checks went smoothly with both cubs and mum relaxed through the entire process. All three cubs were given a feline vaccine, the same as your domestic cat receives, a worming tablet, a micro-chip and were weighed, producing an average weight of seven kilograms."

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Photo Credits: David Mattner / Monarto Zoo

“This is a really exciting time, we haven’t had such a large litter of cubs since the breeding program began in 2007. To see them prosper is a real coup for the zoo and the preservation of this beautiful species.”

The cubs are growing bigger and livelier by the day and are starting to venture outside the den on a regular basis. “The cubs are spending a lot more time outside of the den exploring their environment and practicing their pouncing moves. While they may not be old enough to get their rough and tumble on, they seem to be having a ball!” Geister said.

“The next adventure for the little ones is to get them properly acquainted with their aunties and the other females in the pride. The re-introductions between mum and the other lionesses have been positive so far, as new mums would naturally return to the pride when their cubs are around six weeks of age.”


Help Name Busch Gardens Tampa's New Lion Cubs

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A trio of Lion cubs are the most recent addition to Busch Gardens Tampa. They came all the way from South Africa, arriving on May 18. The two little sisters were born March 20; the male, who is not related to the females, was born Feb. 20. All three cubs have genetic lines from the Kalahari and Kruger regions of South Africa, where Lions are recognized for their large size and the males' impressive manes.

Now you can help name the sister cubs! Cast your vote HERE for your favorite of the two pairs of names they offer, now through Tuesday, June 18. There you can also view a clip of the cubs on The Today show.

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Photo Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The addition of the cubs comes as the result of a relationship between Busch Gardens and a private zoological facility in South Africa and enhances the sustainability of lions living in managed care in North America, as well as aids in the park’s breeding program. Lion populations are in sharp decline across Africa. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports several projects in Africa, which work to protect and preserve the species.

See more pictures after the fold:

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Update! Seneca Park Zoo's Baby Lion Twins at Play

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Have you met these two African Lion cubs from Seneca Park Zoo? We introduced them HERE on ZooBorns on April 26. Born just eight weeks ago on March 7 to first time parents Asha and Chester, there is one male and one female. While they may not be old enough yet to get their rough and tumble on, they seem to be working on their nipping and rolling around skills!

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said, "After nearly two months of excellent care by our zoo staff, we can officially announce that these two lion cubs will soon re-join their parents for our entire community to see.”  Within a month, the twins will begin going out in the habitat in the zoo's A Step Into Africa Exhibit, which just opened last year. But today you can see them in action on the video below.

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Photo and video credit: Tina Fess

Brooks also announced that a community wide naming contest will be held; information about the contest will be available in the coming weeks. 

Lions are considered a Vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Most live in eastern and southern Africa, where their numbers are rapidly decreasing due to habitat loss and conflict with humans.  


Pair of Lion Cubs Born at Seneca Park Zoo

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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.

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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.

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All photos by Kelli O'Brien except #4 and #7 by Pam Cowan

Continue reading "Pair of Lion Cubs Born at Seneca Park Zoo" »


Emmen Zoo Welcomes a Bundle of Baby Lions

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On Sunday, April 7, four Asiatic Lion cubs were born to parents Zulu, the father, and Tia, the mother, at the Emmen Zoo in Holland. The night house den had been cleared of other Lions so Tia could spend the critical first days and weeks bonding with her babies behind the scenes. Through the use of a live webcam, keepers have been able to keep a close eye on the little family, and have observed the four avidly nursing, and growing bigger and livelier by the day under Tia's excellent care. The sex of the cubs has not yet been determined.

The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), also known as the Indian Lion, is a lion subspecies. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN based on the small population size. These Lions once prowled from the Middle East to India, but now it is estimated that only 200 to 260 of them are left in the wild, as an isolated population found in India's Gujarat State. Once a royal hunting ground, today India's Gir Forest is a reserve where these Endangered Lions are heavily protected. 

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Photo Credit: Photo 1: Rob Doolaard, all others: Emmen Zoo 

The zoo announced they are having a local contest, the winner of which will be able to have a live peek at the cubs. That will happen on April 25, but you can tune in right now to see them all via the zoo's live stream by clicking HERE

See more pictures of mom and cubs after the fold:

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Lookit! Three Baby Lions at Barranquilla Zoo

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On March 1, the Barranquilla Zoo's young Lioness gave birth to two females and one male -- an unprecedented event in the history of Big cats in the Zoo. 

The birth happened naturally and without complications, under the supervision of the medical team of Botany and Zoological Foundation Barranquilla. Each cub weighed approximately 1.98 pounds (900 grams) each. Being a mother for the second time showed in the confident maternal care that the lioness gave to her babies.  

The first to be born was a female, with the male coming twenty minutes later, followed by the other female.  Now, at a month old , the cubs weigh about 6 kilos. They are full of life, playing at attacking prey and mimicking the roars of their parents. They are still nursing, but mom is allowing them to try meat.

The parents have quite a love story. It seems they took to each other from the first meeting. During mating season, they mate once every 20 minutes for 5 days.  - their courtship gave way to this beautiful set of triplets. The father arrived on September 1, 2012, from the Royal Circus Humbar due to confiscation.. The lioness, who arrived in March 2009 from the Cali Zoo, had her first baby at the conservation center on August 28, 2011.

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Photo Credit: Jorge Chavez

See all their pictures after the fold:

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UPDATE! Omaha Zoo Lion Cubs Get Named

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We first reported on the five African Lion cubs born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo HERE way back in January following their birth to mother Mfisha and father Mr. Big on December 29, 2012. Here at ZooBorns we have continued to follow this litter as they have grown up with two updates so far, which can be found HERE and HERE. It has been over a month and a half since our last update and there is plenty to report on the quintuplets.

All five of the cubs, two of which are male and three of which are female, have continued to grow and thrive and are in good health. At the last weighing, each cub tipped the scales between 17 and 23 pounds.

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Photo credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Perhaps most excitingly, each of the five cubs has been named. The names were determined through a naming contest run through the zoo's Facebook page. The zoo's Facebook fans were able to submit names on the site and then fans were able to vote on their favorite names from the submissions. After over 4,400 votes were submitted, five different names, all of which are of African origin, were decided upon. The males were named Taj, meaning "crown" and Josiri, which means "brave." The females have been named Kya, meaning "diamond in the sky," Leela, meaning "night beauty," and Zuri, which means "beautiful flower.

The five cubs are currently out on display for visitors to see at the zoo's Cat Complex. They can be found romping about with their mother Mfisha and their aunt Ahadi.

See many more photos after the fold!

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