Nature In Brief -- Lion cubs make entrance at National Zoo

Staff Reports
Nature In Brief -- Lion cubs make entrance at National Zoo
Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.

HEAR THEM ROAR—WHEN THEY’RE OLDER: There is another noteworthy birth at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington. It’s not a panda this time, but something equally interesting—a litter of African lion cubs, the first in four years.

    Nababiep, a 10-year-old lion, gave birth Jan. 24 to three cubs in an eight-hour period. Two of the cubs survived. The newborns are Nababiep’s third litter and the fourth litter for father Loke, an 8-year-old. The zoo’s animal care staff is continuing to monitor the family.
    “The first few days of a lion cub’s life are very fragile,” said Rebecca Stites, an animal keeper at the Great Cats exhibit. “Naba continues to prove that she has great maternal instincts, so the best course of action is for us to allow her to care for and bond with her cubs. We have every indication that she will successfully raise these cubs just as she did her previous litter.”
    The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, through its species survival plan for African lions, had recommended that the National Zoo breed the lions.
    Nababiep’s cubs will be on exhibit in late spring after the zoo’s animal keepers and veterinary team have had time to examine them.

    Taken from a report by the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo.


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