Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has welcomed its first new lion cubs in nearly 10 years.
African lion Thabisa delivered three healthy cubs last week. The cubs’ father, 13-year-old Zuri, also fathered the last cubs to be raised at Riverbanks, born in June 2008.
“Animal births always are very exciting for Riverbanks and the community,” John Davis, director of animal care and welfare at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, said in a news release. “Thabisa is being a great mom. She is bonding well with her offspring, and nursing is going exactly as it should.”
The zoo expects a litter of cubs from Thabisa’s sister, Lindelani, soon.
The 3-year-old lionesses both came to Riverbanks last May as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan. For nearly 40 years, the plan has supported breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited organizations.
Riverbanks’ new lion cubs will be exhibited when they are around 3 months old, the zoo said.