Posted on 17th September 2021 by Media Relations
Taronga Zoo Sydney is proud to announce the birth of five African Lion Cubs – the first lion cubs to be born at Taronga Zoo Sydney in 18 years. The five cubs who arrived in mid-August, are now five weeks old, and growing every day.
In a first for Taronga, the public will be able to meet the new pride and support Taronga’s important conservation work with a brand-new cub cam, which is launching just in time for the spring school holidays. The Taronga TV cub cam is available for a limited time only for a tax-deductible donation of $7, allowing the public to watch the youngsters grow, all while supporting their cousins in the wild.
The five cubs – three females and two males - were born to experienced mum Maya and first-time dad Ato on Thursday 12 August, which in a sweet turn of events also happened to coincide with Ato’s fourth birthday.
Carnivore Unit Supervisor Louise Ginman said the new pride are in good health and going from strength to strength. “Maya is a very attentive, nurturing and relaxed mother. Her labour went off without a hitch and we couldn’t be happier with the maternal behaviours that we are observing”.
“Now weighing between 5-6kg compared to approximately 1.5 kg at birth, each cub is growing and developing beautifully with mum Maya ensuring each cub is suckling and feeding well,” said Louise.
Since their birth, the keepers have been closely monitoring the cubs via CCTV cameras in their specialised maternity den, and from today, the public will be able to join them via Taronga TV’s brand-new cub cam.
“In a first for Taronga, we are giving our community access to meet these five precious cubs and bringing them along on the journey from the very beginning. From when they start finding their feet, to when their paws touch grass for the first time – our community will be right there with us,” said Cameron Kerr, CEO, Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
“As a not-for-profit zoo, one the best ways the public can support our two Zoos and our critical conservation work is by tuning in to Taronga TV’s brand-new cub cam. With a donation of just $7 you are supporting our work at Taronga’s two zoos and our on-the-ground work in Northern Kenya -one of six native homelands of the African Lion,” said Kerr.
African Lions are currently classified as vulnerable in the wild, with their population continuing to decrease due to human-animal conflict, habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade and poaching.
“Taronga’s pride of lions are such amazing ambassadors for their wild counterparts as they help to raise awareness for their species and bring to the forefront the threats facing them in the wild,” says Carnivore Unit Supervisor Louise Ginman.
“Maya has been an invaluable contributor to the regional breeding program of the African Lion, and with less than 20,000 African Lions remaining in the wild, every cub really does count,” said Louise.
At the moment, the cubs are finding their feet behind the scenes in their nursery den, but soon enough they will be meeting milestones like their first health check, meeting their father Ato and eventually making their public debut later this year.
“We cannot wait to hear the pitter-patter of paws as the cubs start investigating and finding their way around their brand-new home at Taronga’s African Savannah Precinct, but that is still a little while off! Fingers and toes crossed our Zoo community will be able to witness this moment as well!” said Louise.
Despite both Taronga’s two Zoos being closed, the critical conservation work never stops and for a small tax-deductible donation of just $7 the public can now access Taronga TV’s brand-new cub cam and continue to support Taronga's vital conservation work and help save Lions in the wild.
As Sydney’s only not-for-profit zoo Taronga is delighted to continue fostering connections between both wildlife and people.