Huzzah! There are new baby animals at the National Zoo. Last night, four lion cubs were born to first-time mother Shera. They arrived between 10:30 pm and 2:30 am.
This is especially wonderful for the Zoo and its fans because of the tragic loss of the last lion cub which was born there in May– who shared a father, Luke, with the current babies. Born to Shera’s sister, Nababiep, the single cub died after just 48 hours when a straw awn from its bedding became lodged in his lung. The Zoo has instituted changes, since then:
“Since the unfortunate death of Naba’s cub, we’ve investigated various alternative bedding options,” said Rebecca Stites, a lion and tiger keeper. “The use of bedding is imperative as it protects the cubs from trauma during the first fragile weeks of their lives. We’ve provided Shera and her cubs with shavings and soft hay with as few awns as possible.”
Good to know. The Zoo says the cubs will be visible to the public by late Fall. For those of us still suffering from Tai-Shan withdrawal, this news is delightful.