Human Interest

Roaring success: 5 lion cubs make public debut at Sydney zoo

Five lion cubs made their public debut at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Thursday, the first litter of big cats born in at the attraction in nearly two decades.

The 12-week-old cubs were born in August to mum Maya and dad Ato, and now weigh 11-13 kilograms each.

“It has been over 18 years since there has been the pitter-patter of lion cub paws at Taronga Zoo Sydney, and the first time there has ever been a full pride in the African Savannah (exhibit),” the zoo said on its website.

The three females are named Malika (Swahili for angel), Zuri (Swahili for beautiful) and Ayanna (Swahili for beautiful flower), and the two males are Khari (Swahili name meaning ‘like a king’) and Luzuko (South African name meaning glory), the zoo said.

It added that “just like any newborns, the cubs have bursts of activity followed by napping and cuddling” so Maya and her cubs will only be in the exhibit for “certain periods of the day, which may differ daily to allow for rest time and all im-paw-tant family bonding.”

A visual story by Dan Himbrechts

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