COLUMBIA S.C. (WCBD) – Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has announced the birth of two African lion cubs!
Leaders say the cubs were born to mom, Lindelani and dad, Zuri on Monday, October 1, bringing the zoo’s lion pride to eight.
Animal care staff said they first noticed signs of labor Sunday just after 10:00 p.m.
Lindelani later delivered one healthy cub at 3:06 a.m. and another at 5:45 a.m.
Zoo officials say a third cub was born but did not survive.
“We are thrilled about these new additions to our African lion pride and their impact on the sustainability of the species,” said Sue Pfaff, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “Lindelani is a protective and attentive mother, and she and her offspring are bonding very well.”
Leaders say the cub’s birth is significant to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) African Lion Species Survival Plan® (SSP). For nearly 40 years, SSPs have ensured the continued existence of African lions and other endangered wildlife through breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited organizations.
“Because of the leadership, care and dedication of the Riverbanks team and our AZA colleagues, the managed African lion population has risen to nearly 400 animals,” said Pfaff.
The new cubs will be cared for off-exhibit until they are about three months old and large enough to explore their outdoor habitat.
Until then, the public will soon have an opportunity to follow the cubs as they grow on the zoo’s official website, www.riverbanks.org.