NAPLES, Fla. - The Naples zoo welcomed its first lion cubs in more than 30 years this month!

Shani, a 13-year-old lion, gave birth to her first cub on May 13, and then two more the following morning, according to a press release.

She was paired with 10-year-old Masamba, her mate, by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Species Survival to create sustainable populations of threatened and endangered species, zoo officials explained.

Photo Credit: Naples Zoo

“The pair has been recommended for breeding since 2013 so we’ve been waiting for these cubs for a long time,” said Liz Harmon, Naples Zoo Director of Animal Programs. “Although Shani is older than the average first time lion mother, the cubs are all doing very well and it is wonderful to see her being such a good mom.”



Ninety percent of Africa's lion population has disappeared in the last 75 years, according to Jack Mulvena, the Naples Zoo President and CEO.

Zoo staff said the cubs and their mother will not be on exhibit until the middle of summer.

 

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