Grrr! New lion cubs debut

To the sounds of "oooh" and "aren't they cute?" four new lion cubs went on display today at Riverbanks Zoo.

The cubs, three females and a male, were born June 7. Because of complications at birth, zoo veterinarians had to perform a Cesarean section on the mother, Brynn. Keepers re-introduced the cubs to Brynn a few days later, but they weren't getting the necessary nutrition from their mother. So they have been hand-reared by keepers for the past month, with feedings every two hours around the clock at first and more recently every four hours.

The cubs were put on display behind windows at the Bird Center, across from the sea lion exhibit. They are being rotated in and out of the display, with only two on view at a time. Within a few weeks, they will be too large for that space and will be kept off-display until mid-September, when they will be put on display in the lion exhibit.

Brynn and the father, Zuri, were brought to Riverbanks specifically to breed and diversify the gene pool in captive lions. When the cubs are grown, they likely will be sent to other zoos around the country to promote gene diversity.

-- From staff reports