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.
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.
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.
We first reported on the five African Lion cubs born at Omaha's Henry Doorly ZooHERE 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Nestor’s mother, Maouli, is a willing and patient playmate
for her little cub. But like all Lion moms, she lets her offspring know when he’s
gone too far. And when she lets loose
with a Lion-sized snarl, Nestor is sure to take notice.
Africa’s wild Lions are in decline. Recent studies suggest that fewer than 30,000
Lions survive on the continent. Their
numbers have dropped due to habitat loss and encroachment of human activity.
See photos of Nestor and Maouli at the end of a play session below the fold!
Getting five Lion cubs to look at the camera at the same time is not easy, but the staff at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium enjoy trying. You may have first learned about these two male and three female African Lion cubs, born on December 29, here or here on Zooborns.
First-time mom Mfisha, six years old, has her paws full but is clearly doing a great job. The cubs are weighed every day and are growing as they should, including one female, who was having trouble nursing early on. After spending eight days in
the hospital to improve her health, she was put back with her siblings, mom and
aunt, though she continued to be bottle fed by keepers.
African Lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). Over the last 20 years the lion population has estimated to have declined from 30% to 50%. African lions live in sub-Sahara Africa with the majority in east and southern Africa.
Photo Credit: Henry Doorly Zoo
Read more about this beautiful species after the fold:
The furry-bellied Lion cub trio at Honolulu Zoo that you may have read about here on ZooBorns are getting bigger! Born on December 15, at six weeks old their weigh-in had them at a healthy 14 pounds (6.35 kg) each; since then they have continued to grow at a good pace.
The cubs are not yet ready to be in the large exhibit so they spend their time behind the scenes with their mother, Moxy. Zoo staff worked with the City’s Department of Information Technology to provide a live feed for public viewing of them on a monitor at the old gift store display window. Zoo staff hopes that after they complete their inoculations (within the next 60 days), and get the approval of Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Ben Okimoto, they can be introduced to their habitat.
Photo Credit: Honolulu Zoo
The cubs are becoming stronger, thanks in part to play, which develops motor skills, balance and hunting behavior. With three cubs, it's three times the fun, as captured on the Zoo's closed circuit cameras.
You’ve met the Woodland Park Zoo’s quartet of Lion cubs
several times on ZooBorns since they were born on November 19. Since then, the two male and two female cubs
have been safely tucked in their den with mom Adia. But this week they ventured into their outdoor
yard for the first time, practicing for their public debut.
Photo Credits: Ryan Hawk/Wodland Park Zoo
Adia was the first to step outside, with two of the cubs
emerging alongside her. Then Adia ducked
back inside as if calling the other two cubs.
Soon all four were outdoors, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of
this new world. The cubs stuck together
and stayed close to mom, though they were curious about the zoo staff members
who had gathered to watch through the viewing window.
Keepers had filled the yard with mossy logs, muddy pits, and
sticks for the cubs to play with, but their favorite toy was mom. They constantly pounced on her, grabbed her
neck, or slipped under her feet. New
distractions, like planes flying overhead and cawing birds got the cubs’
attention as well.
After two hours of outdoor play, the cubs were tuckered out
and the family headed inside to rest. But
you can be sure the cubs will be ready for action when they meet the public for
the first time very soon.
On November 9, 2011, two healthy male Asiatic Lion cubs named Kamran and Ketan were born to mom Shiva at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Now at nine and a half weeks, both cubs are doing well and beginning to reveal their individual personalities. They’re spending more time outside in an off-show enclosure, though guests can now view them at play on a monitor outside the exhibit.
But they have a story. Unfortunately, only 12 days after they were born, their
eight-year-old father Kamal was put to sleep due to severely deteriorating
health. Following his death, Shiva began to have difficulties mothering, which forced staff to make the rare
decision to intervene and remove the two-week-old cubs for hand-rearing.
Asiatic Lions are classified as Critically Endangered and are part of an internationally coordinated conservation breeding program managed by Twycross Zoo. There are currently only a few hundred Asiatic Lions left in the wild, so every step had to be taken to ensure these cubs survive and thrive. Hand-rearing is a very demanding and challenging process, and
is considered a last resort. But just as their father played a role in the conservation breeding program, both cubs are to play a role in the future of the breeding program.
"The initial transition was a very important time for
the cubs,’ says Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals. "We placed
straw from their previous enclosure on the ground for familiarity, and gave
each cub a cuddly toy to snuggle with to mimic mum. We also worked closely with
the Vet Team to monitor their fluid intake while we got both cubs used to
feeding from artificial teats."
A team of five keepers are dedicated to care for the
cubs, who were initially fed five times over a 24 hour period. While the cubs got used to the new feeding regimine, keepers could spend up
to two hours doing each feed. Both cubs have their weight, temperature and
respiratory rate checked daily, and keepers monitor their activity level to ensure
they’re progressing well.
"Alongside the challenge of feeding when hand-rearing, we need to
prevent the cubs from imprinting on the keepers, so we make sure we treat them
the way that their mum would when we handle them," continues Lynsey. This involves picking
them up by the scruff of the neck and brushing them with a coarse brush -- which
replicates them being licked by their mother’s coarse tongue -- all to ensure
they go on to be a fully functioning social animal.
"I’m very proud of my team," says Lynsey. "However, I’ll deem the hand-rearing a success when our two young males are fully weaned and then go on to breed themselves. After all, protecting this incredible species is what we’re all working toward."
Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo
Watch this video of the two nursing and being quite curious about the camera!