For the second time in two years, Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo has been celebrating another big cat breeding success.
Last November the African lions Maya and Lazarus welcomed four tiny cubs into the world. All four of them are male, but don’t have names just yet. At nearly three months old, they now weigh around 8 kilograms each. The zoo staff are very happy with Maya's attentive and nurturing parenting skills.
“We have been monitoring Maya and the cubs via a video camera link in their den since birth, allowing them time to bond,” says lion keeper Greg Kirk.
Maya and Lazarus are second-time parents now—their first litter was born back in February 2017. Litters typically have two to four cubs.
Lions are the only social big cats and can live in prides of up to 40 related animals, with mothers caring for all their young in one big group.
“The cubs have received their first health check and vaccination from the zoo’s veterinarian and all received a clean bill of health,” says Kirk.
“They are now starting to venture out of the den and explore their surroundings behind-the-scenes.”
Visitors of Taronga Western Plains Zoo will be able to spot the fuzzy lion babies later in February. For now, the family is still living behind the scenes, and the whole lion pride is also patiently waiting for their new African Lion Pridelands to be constructed by the end of the year.
All photos courtesy Mandy Turner/Taronga Zoo.