Zoo Knoxville celebrates birth of two lion cubs

Zoo Knoxville is celebrating the birth of two new African lion cubs.
Zoo Knoxville is welcoming two new lion cubs
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 1:17 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2021 at 11:28 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Zoo Knoxville is celebrating the birth of two endangered African lion cubs, the first to be born at the zoo since 2006. The two cubs, one male and one female, were delivered on Tuesday.

The cubs were born after an emergency Caesarean section surgery after one cub was found to be lodged in the mother’s birth canal. Four cubs were delivered in all, but only the two survived, Zoo Knoxville officials said. The surgery was performed by the care team, which included veterinarians from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Due to the surgery, officials said, the cubs will be hand-reared together.

“These cubs are extremely important to the population of lions in the care of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), who work collaboratively as part of the African Lion SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Program to ensure a future for the species,” the zoo’s announcement said.

The two cubs are healthy and being cared for by zoo staff.

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