PLEASE NOTE: Photo and video opportunities of the Zoo’s new lion cubs are only available via a video feed and monitor located above our lion relaxation room window. The Zoo’s new cubs are with their mother in a non-public area of the lion building. When the cubs have access to an exhibit that can be viewed by the public, you will be notified.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN ZOO WELCOMES THREE AFRICAN LION CUBS!
July 2, 2015, Colorado Springs, CO – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is thrilled to welcome three roly-poly African lion cubs! The cubs were born on June 25 to first-time parents Lomela, a seven-year-old female, and Abuto, a three-year-old male. Mom and cubs appear to be healthy and doing well.
Lions are pregnant for an average of 110 days. Zoo staff set up a camera system weeks prior to the birth, so they could monitor Lomela in two different nesting locations. Animal keepers were able to observe the birth, and can now keep close tabs on mom and cubs without disturbing them. The Zoo set up a second video camera monitor above the lion relaxation room window, so Zoo guests can see the new additions to the lion pride.
“Lomela and her babies are currently off exhibit in the lion building to give them time to bond and the cubs time to grow,” Dina Bredahl, Animal Care Manager, said. “The cubs are nursing and are quite active for being less than a week old.”
For now, Abuto often spends his days with Zwena (Lomela’s sister), while Lomela takes care of the cubs, although he appears to be aware of the new additions. He will be reintroduced to Lomela and the cubs when staff feels that both first-time parents are ready.
“We don’t know the sex of Lomela’s three cubs right now, and may not for some time,” Bredahl said. “If they remain healthy, as they appear to be now, we will take a hands-off approach and let Lomela take care of her babies without intervention.”
Abuto was specifically chosen to breed with Lomela because of their genetic compatibility. The breeding program is known within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as a Species Survival Plan, or SSP. The breeding of the Zoo’s lions is important to the SSP and to the Zoo. Wild African lions have faced a population decline of 42% over the past 21 years and their species continues to decline due to pre-emptive killing to protect livestock, prey base depletion and habitat loss. The Zoo’s hope is that guests will fall in love with their pride and fight to help save their wild counterparts.
In keeping with Zoo tradition, the lion cubs will not be named until they are at least 30 days old.
About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 224 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.