A trio of African lion cubs was born on February 28 2015 at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Keeper Roger Brogan said, “This is the first time we have bred Lion cubs here in Dubbo, so you can imagine how excited we are with these three new additions.”
The cubs, one male and two females are yet to be named. For lioness Maya this is her first litter of cubs. She arrived as a mate for resident male, Lazarus in 2014.
Brogan added, “The introduction of Maya and Lazarus took place after many months of planning, monitoring and observation. To introduce the pair and observe positive mating behaviours almost straight away was fantastic. Then to have Maya progress through her pregnancy and three healthy cubs arrive was amazing. We couldn’t be happier.”
“First time mother Maya is doing a wonderful job with her trio, She is being very attentive and nurturing.”
This week keepers got their first look at the cubs when vets conducted a health check. They looked over the cubs to ensure that each was developing and growing at a steady rate. Each of the cubs weighed in at about 5kg (11 lb) and was given a clean bill of health.
Until this check keepers had only seen the cubs on a video camera set up in the den since birth. This gives the cubs time to bond with their mother. “We’re taking a hands-off approach to allow her to fully utilise her natural mothering instincts,” explained Brogan.
The cubs will spend another six to eight weeks behind the scenes before going on exhibit. During this time they will “start to try solid food and begin exploring their surrounds more.”
In the wild they are in danger from not having enough food to eat and losing their habitat. Increasing conflicts with humans has also contributed to them being listed as vulnerable.
Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo