A 3-year-old lion at Woodland Park Zoo gave birth Thursday night to four cubs. The litter is the first for the mom, Adia (AH-dee-uh), the dad, 13-year-old Hubert, and the first birth of lions at the zoo since 1991. Video and photos can be seen at here.
The mom and cubs are in a maternity den, out of public view. Zoo staff are closely monitoring the litter via webcam.
The average litter size for the South African lion species is two or three, so the litter is large, especially for a first-time mom, said Martin Ramierz, mammal curator at the zoo.
“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,” he said.
Hubert and the zoo’s other adult female lion, Kalisa, is also indoors and not on public display in order to minimize disturbance to the newborns.
Zoo officials said lion cubs typically weigh about 3 pounds at birth. They are born blind and open their eyes within a week or two.