Reid Park Zoo Confirms Delivery of Three Lion Cubs

Female lion, “Kaya,” has given birth to three cubs at Reid Park Zoo. Her Zoo Keeper heard cub vocalization on Thursday, July 28 when she arrived in the morning. The cubs, two males and one female, had their first medical exam this morning and appear to be doing well.
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The cubs and mother are behind-the-scenes and are receiving the best care possible from animal keepers and veterinarians. The Zoo follows a strict protocol for cubs that is also utilized by other accredited Zoos. Kaya and her cubs have access to two “bedrooms” and a cub den – a cave like room with minimal lighting – to reduce stress and human intrusion. Kaya is being provided a modified diet to ensure the nutritional requirements for nursing her young. She is eating well.
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“The mortality rate for cubs up to a year old is close to 30% in zoos – much better than mortality in the wild,” states Jim Schnormeier, The Zoo’s General Curator. “I am pleased that Kaya, as a young first time mom, has taken to her cubs so well.  But we must remain cautious as first time mothers sometimes respond negatively to the stress, resulting in less success.” Shombay, the father, is separated from the rest of the pride for safety. He is calm, but curious.
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Healthy cubs typically remain behind the scenes for approximately 8 weeks, so it will be a long wait before visitors will be able to view them. Fans can keep up to date on the Zoo’s Facebook page and website www.tucsonzoo.org.
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Lions are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Reid Park Zoo partners with colleague Zoos around the country to make responsible breeding decisions for the protection of the species.
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Reid Park Zoo is open 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. through August.  Call 791-4022 for directions and admission information, or visit the Zoo’s website.