Three Lion cubs born at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo on February 28 had their first veterinary visit this week, and all were pronounced healthy and strong.
Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo
The cubs, a male and two females, are the first Lion cubs ever born at the zoo, so the staff is especially thrilled with the new arrivals. The cubs have not yet been named. This is the first litter for mother Maya and father Lazarus.
Maya and Lazarus were introduced in 2014 and breeding behavior was observed almost immediately after the introduction. Staff monitored Maya carefully throughout her pregnancy, and keepers have been monitoring Maya and her cubs via a video camera in their den since birth, allowing them time to bond together on their own.
The staff is taking a hands-off approach, allowing Maya to use her natural mothering instincts.
At their veterinary check-up this week, the cubs each weighed about 11 pounds, more than doubling their birth weights. In the coming weeks, the cubs will begin to eat solid food and explore their surroundings.
Wild African Lions are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with populations decreasing due to human-animal conflict, depleted prey base, and habitat loss.