Buffalo Zoo’s African Lion Pride has grown to welcome the birth of four lion cubs.
New York’s Buffalo Zoo welcomed four new lion cubs to its African Lion Pride in early June.
Lusaka, the zoo’s mother, gave birth to three cubs late on the night of June 2 and a fourth in the early hours of June 3, the zoo announced in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“The birth of any animal is exciting, but lion cubs are especially heartwarming because they are adorable,” said Lisa Smith, interim president and CEO of Buffalo Zoo. “We are honored to be able to care for Lusaka, its cubs and all members of their pride, while at the same time recognizing that they represent the future and wish to save the species, and reminding us of the importance of continued efforts to strive to save lions in the wild.”
A team at the Buffalo Zoo guarding a new baby.
The zoo’s post said the babies, who have not yet been named but weigh about 7 pounds, are “currently showing signs of good health” and are breastfeeding normally. Two of the babies are believed to be males and the other two are females, the zoo said.
The lion cubs will continue to spend bonding time away from the exhibit with their mothers until they are strong enough to go out and interact with other lions.
The cub’s parents, Lusaka and Tiberius, were paired in an effort to maintain a healthy population of the species, the zoo said. This is the third litter for the parents, with three in 2016 and two in 2021.
“The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species lists the African lion as endangered, with a total population probably below 40,000,” the zoo said. “IUCN estimates that there are only 23,000 to 39,000 mature individuals. African lion populations are declining primarily due to habitat loss, human-wildlife coexistence challenges, poaching and wildlife trafficking (illegal trade in wildlife).”