05 April 2024

London Zoo staff ‘over the moon’ after welcoming three lion cubs

05 April 2024

London Zoo staff have said they are “over the moon” after welcoming three lion cubs from an endangered subspecies.

The litter – who are yet to be named – arrived on March 13 and were born to parents seven-year-old mother Arya and 14-year-old father Bhanu.

Arya and Bhanu are kept at London Zoo as part of their international conservation breeding programme, which includes protecting an important back-up population of the big cats.

London Zoo’s head big cat keeper, Kathryn Sanders, said: “We are over the moon to be able to share the amazing news that we’ve had three endangered Asiatic lion cubs born at London Zoo.

“When the wild population is thought to be just 600 to 700 individuals, adding three to that number is a significant increase.

“Arya is proving to be a doting mum to her three cubs, and we’ve been able to observe some heartwarming moments via our hidden cubcam – from their first feed to their first steps.

“They’re getting stronger every day and we’re delighted with their progress.”

Footage of the birth was captured by the zoo’s cubcam, which showed the cubs’ being licked clean by their mother and then experiencing their first suckle.

Zookeepers have continued to monitor the cubs’ progress, including their first wobbly steps.

So far, the cubs have remained inside their custom-built cubbing den, but they might begin to venture outside as the weather gets warmer, allowing visitors a glimpse of the zoo’s new additions.

Currently, visitors can see cubcam footage of the lions in London Zoo’s Land of the Lions area.

The newborn triplets are Asiatic lions, an endangered group of lions with a wild population estimated at just 600 to 700.

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