A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

4 lion cubs born at Woodland Park Zoo

November 10th, 2012 by Doree

Four lion cubs were born at Woodland Park Zoo Thursday night, the first lions born at the zoo in more than 20 years.

The lion’s den as seen from a surveillance camera above.

The mother is 3-year-old Adia; the father is 13-year-old Hubert. The genders of the cubs have not been determined.

The mom and cubs are off public exhibit in a maternity den to allow the new family to bond in a hushed, comfortable environment. Animal management staff are closely monitoring the litter via a web cam to ensure the mom is providing excellent maternal care and the cubs are properly nursing.

According to Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo, average litter size for lions is two to three, so this is a large litter, especially for a first-time mother. “The first 48 hours are critical, and animal care staff will be monitoring each of the cubs closely for signs of normal behavior and development over the next several weeks.”

Woodland Park Zoo’s lions belong to the South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. A 13-year-old female lion, named Kalisa, also lives at the zoo’s award-winning African Savanna. Known as the Transvaal lion, it ranges in Southern Sahara to South Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest belt, in grassy plains, savanna and open woodlands. These lions range in weight from 260 to 400 pounds.

To minimize disturbance to the newborns, the other two adult lions are indoors and may not be on public exhibit throughout the weekend.

Cubs typically weigh about 3 pounds at birth. They are born blind and open their eyes within a week or two after birth.

Approximately 199 South African lions currently live in 100 AZA-accredited zoos in North America.

Adia nursing her cubs.

You can see video and photos of the cubs here.

CommentsTags: ,

Zoo’s new lion will undergo quarantine exam before being introduced to African Savanna

November 29th, 2010 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo received a 1-year-old female South African lion, named Adia, from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in early November. Adia has been quarantined for the standard 30 days, and will undergo a full physical on Wednesday before her quarantine is over.

Photo by Grahm Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Named Adia (AH-dee-uh), which means “gift” in Swahili, the new lion arrived under a recommendation by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions. She will be paired for breeding with the zoo’s 11-year-old male lion when she reaches sexual maturity next fall. After clearing quarantine, Adia will be introduced gradually to the zoo’s award-winning African Savanna where she will rotate on exhibit. The male currently lives with another female, 11 years old.

All three lions belong to the South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. Known as the Transvaal lion, it ranges in Southern Sahara to South Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest belt, in grassy plains, savanna and open woodlands.

The lion is perhaps the most iconographic of all the African savanna species. Their presence on the savanna immeasurably increases eco-tourism. In zoos, they help demonstrate the interdependency of all species. Although not endangered, African lions face an uncertain future, primarily due to the growth in human population. Poachers hunt lions for trophies and because they pose a threat to humans and livestock.

CommentsTags: , ,