It’s been six months since Taronga Western Plains Zoo welcomed its second litter of Lion cubs, born on 19 November 2016. The four male cubs have grown from a birth weight of between 1.5 – 2kg each, to now weighing between 25 – 30kg each!
Their diet has increased gradually over the past few months. The cubs currently receive an average of 2kg of meat per day and are being fed alongside their mother Maya behind the scenes each afternoon. Father Lazarus can be seen on exhibit with mum and the cubs every second day.
According to Keepers, the cubs are very keen to go onto exhibit each day and seem particularly interested in interacting with their older female siblings, Makeba and Zuri. They climb on and fall off their big sisters and play with the tufts of fur on their tails.
Although older male sibling Baako is not sharing a space with the cubs currently, he does have fence contact at night with them and the cubs often show some real brotherly love towards Baako, which is great to see. This behaviour includes stalking him and biting at his mane when he happens to stick it through the fence when resting.
The cubs are weighed weekly on some large scales that they walk over as part of their daily routine. With their juvenile enthusiasm the scales often read in excess of 100kg, as all four often plonk themselves on them at once!
Little do they know, their current home is now only temporary and towards the end of the year the pride will all be relocated to the new African Pridelands exhibit, currently under construction towards the end of the Zoo circuit.
The best time to see the Lion cubs is in the morning when they are most active. Visitors can learn more about the pride at the daily keeper talk at 12:45pm.
By Keeper, Gregory Kirk