Little lions leap into life at the San Diego Zoo Safari park

After being born on June 22 4 young lion cubs took their first steps out into the big wide world on September 11 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Lion Camp habitat.

Guests went wild with oohs and aahs providing much delight for visitors as the cubs boldly approached them at Lion Camp’s viewing windows. The cubs kept close to their mother for most of their adventure but occasionally their curious nature lead them to explore in the long grass, jump on logs or play on the rocks.


Mother Oshana gave birth to three females and a male cub. Since birth they have been in the den bonding and being cared for by Oshana. Oshana has been extremely protective and attentive especially during some of their recent adventures in the outdoor enclosure behind the scenes at Lion Camp. It was only today that keepers deemed them strong enough so they could explore in the larger habitat.

At the moment the cubs weigh 22 pounds a steady increase from the 3 ½ pounds they were at birth meaning they are healthy. By three years of age the female cubs will weigh 270 to 400 pounds with the males reaching a hefty 330 to 570 pound weight.

The cubs have received the names Ernest, Evelyn, Marion and Miss Ellen. These names honour supporters of San Diego Zoo Global Evelyn and Ernest Rady as well as Marion Wilson. Miss Ellen is named for Ellen Browing Scripps the first benefactor of the San Diego Zoo.


The lions each has a unique personality and were described as active, feisty, vocal and curious. Keepers invented a unique way to tell them apart which is to shave a small piece of hair off of different place on each cub.

The cubs and Oshana will soon be introduced to their father Izu to form a pride again. They may also meet up with the other female Mina and Oshana’s older offspring Ken and Dixie. So far they have only seen these other lions but have not met them.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Safari Park


By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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