Zoo Knoxville is excited to announce the birth of an endangered African lion cub. The female cub, born on June 16, is the third offspring of father Upepo and mother Amara, and sibling to 6-month-old cubs Magi and Anga.
Amara is nursing and caring for the cub, who is healthy and thriving. However, Amara experienced complications with the delivery and is being closely monitored by her care team. After the birth of the female cub, Amara continued to show signs of labor but when she didn’t progress an ultrasound was performed, showing a stillborn cub lodged in the birth canal.
Veterinarians from UTCVM-University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine quickly performed emergency surgery. Although the surgery was successful, Amara was slow to rebound afterwards, and further tests diagnosed acute renal insufficiency. Amara is currently being treated with medication and showing improvement. Her care team is cautiously optimistic that they can continue to manage the condition with oral medications, fluid therapy and voluntary care. The latest report was that she was bright, acting more like her usual self, and caring appropriately for her cub.
Amara and Upepo’s cubs are extremely important to the population of lions in the care of zoos accredited by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, who work collaboratively as part of the African Lion SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Program to ensure a future for the species.