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


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."




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:

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


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.


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


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.




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.

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

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Emmen Zoo Welcomes a Bundle of Baby Lions

Lion portrait

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. 

Lions w mom

Lion 4

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


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.


Photo Credit: Jorge Chavez

See all their pictures after the fold:

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UPDATE! Omaha Zoo Lion Cubs Get Named

Omaha Lion 1

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.

Omaha Lion 2

Omaha Lion 3

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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UPDATE! Woodland Park Zoo's Four Lion Cubs Get Their Names


The Woodland Park Zoo’s four Lion cubs, which you have most likely read about several times on ZooBorns by now, were born on November 19. The two male and two female cubs have been growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the excellent care of mom Adia and the watchful staff at the Zoo. But all this time they have gone without names.The Zoo recently held a naming contest and the results are in!

Congratulations go to Tate and Ross MacDonald of Seattle and Pamela Garland of Olympia for submitting the winning names as chosen by a panel of zoo judges: Male cub – Rudo (“love” in Zulu), Female cub – Busela (“happy and independent” in Zulu) Rudo and Busela join their brother and sister, who also recently received names from some of the zoo’s big cat donors: Pelo (“heart” in Sotho) for the second male, and Nobuhle (“the beautiful one” in Zulu) for the second female.

The lion cubs now have the full run of their exhibit, and are regularly going out with mom. They have gotten big enough and become coordinated enough to be safe by the habitat's moat. Four growing cubs could be a paw-full for mom, but, as you can see from the picture below, she is always in charge. 






Photo Credit: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

With the run of the exhibit, the cubs' games of tag are much more epic - and when it's time for a rest, their favorite spot is the big heated rock. Read more about their explorations on the zoo's blog.

Look for more pictures of the cubs after the fold:

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Indian Lion Quadruplets Make Hungarian History at Budapest Zoo


Quadruplet Indian Lion cubs made history at the Budapest Zoo. Born on February 15th, the cubs were the first of their species born in Hungary. The cubs, born to mother Shirwane and father Basil, made their public debut over the weekend. 




Photo Credit: Budapest Zoo and Gruff78

Indian Lions, also known as Asiatic Lions, are a critically endangered subspecies of lions. Indian Lions are smaller and less genetically diverse than their African counterparts. Native to India, these big cats are found in the Gir National Park and Sactuary in Western Gujarat. The subspecies was driven to near extinction due to hunting and habitat destruction. About three hundred cats live in protected habitats with another three hundred living in zoos throughout Europe and Asia.  

See many more picture below the fold...

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