Lion

Hand-raised Lion Cubs Growing Strong at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

LionCubsSafariPark_004_Web

Lions Izu and Oshana of San Diego Zoo Safari Park are parents again! On December 6, Oshana gave birth to two healthy cubs, one male and one female. Although Oshana is an experienced mom who nursed and cared for her previous litters, she shows no interest in nursing these two. We may find it upsetting, but animal mothers both in captivity and in the wild may reject their young for many reasons, and we don't always understand why.

Zoo staff are hand-raising this litter in the zoo's animal care center, so that the little Lions will be able to grow up healthy and safely. So far the yet-to-be-named cubs are doing well under the care of dedicated staff. Keep an eye out—zoo visitors will be able to see them in the coming weeks!

1 lion

2 lion

3 lionPhoto credits: San Diego Zoo Safari Park. First photo credit: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo Safari Park


UPDATE: Lion Cubs Thriving at Maryland Zoo

1468700_10150334254949987_1826670820_n

A five-week-old brother-and-sister Lion cub duo is thriving under the care of zoo keepers at the Maryland Zoo. 

ZooBorns introduced the cubs a few weeks ago.  Their mother died unexpectedly just few days after giving birth but thanks to round-the-clock care from the zoo staff, the cubs are in excellent health and are becoming more playful every day.  The cubs’ teeth are starting to come in, and keepers have started to introduce meat into their daily diet. 

577497_10150334254929987_1063598714_n
1452123_10150334254864987_157287900_n
1395271_10150334254854987_794544489_n
Photo Credit:  Maryland Zoo


The cubs are not on public display yet, but the zoo expects to hold a naming contest for the cubs soon. 

See more photos of the cubs below the fold.

 

Continue reading "UPDATE: Lion Cubs Thriving at Maryland Zoo" »


Keepers Step In To Raise Maryland Zoo's First-ever Lion Cubs

Male female_JFB0752
Zoo keepers have stepped in to raise the Maryland Zoo’s first-ever Lion cubs after their mother died a few days after their birth.

The cubs, born on October 3, appear healthy and are receiving around-the-clock care in an off-exhibit area.   “They are very young, and we are measuring their progress and evaluating the situation day by day,” stated Margie Rose-Innes, assistant general curator. “Ideally they will be able to be introduced to the other Lions, but that will be some time in the future.  For now, their continued health and well-being will be our focus.”

Female_JFB0741

Male_JFB0760

L to r male female_JFB0727
Photo Credit:  Jeffrey F. Bill / The Maryland Zoo

Though the staff is deeply saddened by the loss of the cubs’ mother, Badu, they are taking on the challenge of rearing her cubs.  The brother-and-sister duo have not yet been named. 

A day after the birth of her two cubs, Badu’s health declined and the staff intervened.  “Two additional cubs had to be removed surgically, neither of which survived,” stated Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Zoo.  Badu continued to have complications from the surgery, and despite the efforts of the staff, she died a few days later.

The cubs’ birth is the result of a recommendation from the Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the captive population and the health of individual animals. Lions are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because their wild population has declined significantly over the past 50 years.  Only about 32,000 individuals remain in the wild, down from over 100,000 in the mid-20th century.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold.

Continue reading "Keepers Step In To Raise Maryland Zoo's First-ever Lion Cubs" »


UPDATE! Help Name Oregon Zoo's Lion Cubs

1 lion

Oregon Zoo's lions cubs are growing up strong. The three females are now one month old, healthy and playful. The littlest cub, who had some health issues and received some supplemental bottle-feeding, is still the smallest of the trio, but she is doing much better.

See our original story about the cubs here.
 
Want to vote for your favorite potential names? The lions' keepers have picked out their favorites, and want to know yours. 

2 lion

Lion

3 lion
Photo credits: Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

See more photos after the fold.

Continue reading "UPDATE! Help Name Oregon Zoo's Lion Cubs " »


Are Lion Cubs Ticklish?

1381629_713029982059818_708070145_n
We don't know if Lions are ticklish, but this mom seems to join in the fun with her three playful Asiatic Lion cubs, born at Sweden’s Parken Zoo on July 18.  But like all moms, she knows just when to discipline her growing cubs and when to play along.
1377564_713031428726340_142726499_n

1385839_713035635392586_326111732_n
625538_713035252059291_457488137_n
Photo Credit:  Parken Zoo

Born to mother Ishara, age 6, and father Kaja, age 14, the cubs were recently examined by the zoo’s veterinarian, given vaccines, and had identifying microchips inserted.  Now, they are ready to meet their older siblings, Khana and Gir, age two.  Khana and Gir have been watched over by Sarla, a 16-year-old female in the zoo’s pride, while Ishara tended her new cubs.

Asiatic Lions once roamed much of southern Asia and the Middle East, but they now exist as a tiny population of only 350 animals in India’s Gir Forest area.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   Thanks to protection, the population has doubled in the last 40 years, but the Asiatic Lion is still vulnerable to poaching, disease, and natural disasters.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold.

Continue reading "Are Lion Cubs Ticklish? " »


Zoo Miami's First Ever Lion Cubs!

1

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. 

15

14

13

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...

Continue reading "Zoo Miami's First Ever Lion Cubs!" »


Oregon Zoo's Lion Pride Grows

1 lion

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."

2 lion

3 lion

4 lion

5 lion

6 lionPhoto credits: Oregon Zoo / Michael Durham

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!

Continue reading "Oregon Zoo's Lion Pride Grows " »


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

Cub trio 2

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!

Cub back

Cub in grass

Cub resting
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

945632_529097720483095_266799762_n

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."

_O5F7538

_O5F7641

_O5F7554

_O5F7697
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

Lion ball

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.

Lion duo

Lion duo chew

Lion shy

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:

Continue reading "Help Name Busch Gardens Tampa's New Lion Cubs" »