Cute, curious lion cubs born in October are thriving, and it won’t be long until they are introduced to the public at the Sacramento Zoo.
Veterinarians have confirmed that the trio of felines born Oct. 24 are two females and one male. The girls weigh 10 and 11 pounds, while the big boy tips the scale at nearly 14 pounds. The disparity in weight is normal between the sexes in lions.
The mother is still on maternity leave with her cubs so the public won’t be able to view her young charges until late December or early January. Zookeepers want them to be strong enough to safely follow mama lion around the exhibit.
Until then, the zoo has released some photographs. There is also a month-old YouTube video of the cubs sleeping, feeding and being licked clean by their mother.
The mother, born in 2005 at the Fort Worth Zoo, is doing a good job and is very protective of her cubs, according to zoo spokeswoman Tonja Candelaria. The cubs have met their father, born in 2006 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and will eventually be fully introduced.
The group will live as a pride. The father seems to enjoy the cubs’ antics as they become more playful. The cubs, in turn, are curious about their father when he is near.
The bond between mother and father, and their desire to be near each other, is obvious, Candelaria said.
“Zookeepers have also commented on the difference between having lion cubs and tiger cubs,” Candelaria said in an email. “Female tigers den up longer than female lions after giving birth, meaning lion cubs grow more quickly than tiger cubs.”
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.