Updated:ASHEBORO, N.C —
According to a release on the North Carolina Zoo’s website, a lion has given birth to four lion cubs. This is the first time a lion has given birth at the zoo since October 2006.
On July 30, the zoo’s female lion Mekita and male lion Reilly welcomed four cubs. According to the zoo, the breeding was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Lion Species Survival Plan.
The zoo reports that Mekita and her cubs are doing well, but will not be on exhibit until the fall. The cubs will be at the zoo in Asheboro for the next year.
"Male cubs don't stay with their father," explained Jennifer Ireland, an Animal Management Supervisor looking after lions at the North Carolina Zoo. "In the wild, male cubs leave the pride they are born into. In addition many AZA zoos are looking for lions, so our new cubs will eventually go to a new home."
The cubs and Mekita are secluded inside a den at the zoo’s lion exhibit. See a video by clicking here.
World Lion Day is Saturday, and zoo staff will celebrate lions at the lion exhibit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo keepers will be on hand to educate visitors about lions and talk about the zoo’s newborn cubs.
Visit the North Carolina Zoo’s website by clicking here.