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A New Year, A New Lion Cub At Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami entrance (Source: CBS4)

Zoo Miami entrance (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the second time this year, Zoo Miami welcomed a new lion cub born earlier this month.

The single male cub was born on December 15th to “Asha,” a 4-year-old female. It’s the first successful birth for this lion.

Zoo Staff has allowed her to be secluded with her cub with minimal intrusions in hopes of providing a quiet environment that would promote proper bonding between mother and cub. The staff has also been using a closed circuit camera to observe nursing. While the mother has been very attentive, according to staff,  there are indications that the cub may not be thriving as well as it should.

Recent exams have revealed weight loss and possible dehydration which may be the result of the mother not producing enough quality milk. As of Monday, the cub was being supplemented with milk by zoo staff and then returned to its mother following each feeding.

Another concern is the past history with the cubs born to Asha’s sister and the genetic connection. Zoo staff is still concerned that there may be congenital issues with the newborn cub.

According to Zoo Miami, “Kashifa,” Asha’s sister, gave birth to three cubs on September 24th. Unfortunately, two of those cubs did not survive. The third cub was rejected by her mother and sent to the Baltimore Zoo in Maryland to be introduced to two other cubs of a similar age so that she could be properly socialized.

The next several weeks will be critical in determining the newborn cub’s chances of reaching adulthood.

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