Four African lion cubs were born at the Buffalo Zoo earlier this month and all appear to be healthy and growing, the zoo announced Thursday.
The mother lion, Lusaka, delivered the litter of two males and two females June 2 and 3. It is her third litter with the father, Tiberius, since 2016. The lions were paired as part of a species survival plan for African lions overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
“The birth of any animal is exciting, and lion cubs are especially heartwarming because, well, they are adorable!” the Buffalo Zoo’s interim President Lisa Smith said in a news release. “We are honored to care for Lusaka, the cubs, and all the members of their pride, while recognizing that they also represent the future and hope for the conservation of their species, reminding us of the importance of a sustained commitment to work to save lions in the wild.”
African lions are considered a vulnerable species because of habitat loss, poaching and illegal trafficking, according to the zoo. The total population is estimated at under 40,000.
The newest cubs now weigh about 7 pounds each. They are not yet on public display.