First Lion Cubs Born at Zoo Miami

The two males and one female were born Sept. 24 but not separated from their mother until Tuesday, when they were given a neonatal exam

Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013  |  Updated 4:49 PM EDT
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New Warthog Piglets at Zoo Miami

Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

Two of the week-old lion cubs at Zoo Miami.

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Staffers at Zoo Miami are celebrating the first births of lion cubs in the zoo’s 33-year history.

The cubs, two males and one female, were born a week ago but were not separated from their mother until Tuesday, when their neonatal exam showed they are in excellent health, the zoo said in a news release. They weigh between 1.63 kilograms and 1.75 kilograms.

There is no word yet on names for the cubs, whose births were announced by Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida.

“It is a great day at Zoo Miami!!!!” spokesman Ron Magill wrote in an email.

The cubs are being well cared for in a special den by their first-time mother, Kashifa, who is one of four lions in the pride at the zoo, officials said. The lioness and her sister, Asha, were born at the Bronx Zoo in January 2010.

The other two members of the pride are two unrelated brothers, Jabari and Kwame, who came to South Florida after their births at the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin in September 2007. It’s not known which lion is the father of the cubs, as both males had equal access to the females, the zoo said.

The cubs were born through carefully planned breeding that followed a Special Survival Plan recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The population of lions in the wild has declined from over 100,000 five decades ago to an estimated 32,000 now, Zoo Miami said.

The public won’t be able to see the cubs for about three months. That will give them time to bond with their mother, develop coordination, and get safely introduced to the rest of the pride.

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