Werribee Open Range Zoo has welcomed a healthy litter of three precious lion cubs – the first of this threatened species to be born at the Zoo in almost six years.
The cubs, which each weigh approximately 1.5 kilograms, were born in the evening on 4 June to 11-year-old mother Nilo and five-year-old pride male Sheru.
The birth marks an important addition for the Australasian zoo breeding and conservation program.
Unfortunately lions in the wild are facing increasing threats including human-wildlife conflict, poaching and habitat destruction.
African lions are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with their population declining to only 23,000 to 39,000 remaining in the wild in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nilo and her cubs will remain in a private area of their Werribee Open Range Zoo home, away from public view, for about eight weeks to allow them quiet time to bond and thrive.
Zoo members and visitors are encouraged to visit Zoos Victoria’s website and social media channels, @zoosvictoria, for updates on when the cubs will be on view to the public.
Visitors still have the opportunity to see father Sheru and adult lioness Asali along the Zoo’s African River Trail while Nilo and her cubs are bonding in private.