Endangered Asiatic lion cubs born at Edinburgh Zoo

A litter of Asiatic lion cubs – an endangered species – has been born at Edinburgh Zoo.

Five were born three weeks ago, but only three survive.

They are now being nursed by their mother Roberta.

They are not on view to the public.

Alison MacLean, the zoo’s head of carnivores, said:

“Mum and cubs are doing well, and we are thrilled, though we remain cautious as this is still a very delicate stage, with two of the litter sadly not having survived.

“Public viewing is therefore closed to give the family lots of peace and quiet.

“The three cubs will be weighed and sexed during their first health check in the coming weeks.

“We will also name them shortly after.

“Their dad Jayendra is being very affectionate and will stay with Roberta and her youngsters.”

Jayendra came to Edinburgh from Bristol Zoo in 2012.

Roberta followed two years later from Magdeburg Zoo in Germany.

Asiatic lions tend to be smaller than African lions and the males do not grow a substantial mane – making their ears are more visible.

They used to roam across south-west Asia but are now only found in Gir Forest in India.

It’s thought only 350 run wild after threats from poachers, habitat loss, and falling numbers of prey.

credit YouTube Edinburgh Zoo

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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