The Pride of New York: WCS's Bronx Zoo Debuts Triplet African Lion Cubs

  • Triplets are the second litter born in a year; previous litter was 32 years ago
  • The First Day the Cubs Can be Seen: Friday, April 30
  • See the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp4vhO-vcNc

Bronx, N.Y. – April 30, 2010 – Today, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo debuts the new pride of the zoo – three lion cubs. 

The triplet African lions are the second litter born at WCS’s Bronx Zoo in a year – after more than three decades. They can be spotted with their mother, Sukari, and father, M’wasi, at the zoo’s African Plains habitat, from 10am to 1pm daily. undefined

The cubs were born at about five pounds each.  They now weigh in at about 25 pounds and have yet to be named.  Born, Jan. 27, they are very active, curious, and playing as hard as they can.

“Our new cubs are a wonder to observe,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Senior Vice President of Living Institutions and Director of the Bronx Zoo.  “After a visit with these cubs, you can’t leave without appreciating the wonders of wildlife even more. Our lions live in the zoo’s African Plains habitat, which is a naturalistic representation of the African Savannah. Most of us will never take a visit to Africa. This exhibit will take you there figuratively, and we hope all will leave wanting to get more involved in WCS’s efforts to save wildlife and wild places around the globe.” undefined

Sukari has been an extremely attentive mother, keeping the cubs in line as they explore their habitat. M’wasi has proven to be a patient and tolerant father even as his tail and mane have become prime targets of playful attack by the cubs. 

This is Sukari and M’wasi’s second litter.  Their first cub, Moxie, was born in November, 2008, and was the first African lion cub born at WCS’s Bronx Zoo in 31 years.  Moxie got her name from her bold temperament while she was still a very small cub. 

Lions live in grasslands and open woodlands across much of sub-Sahara Africa.  One of the most popular exhibits at the zoo, African Plains opened in 1941 to record crowds and is still an emblematic home for this icon species. This zoo habitat was the first to showcase African wildlife in a predator-prey setting separated by a series of moats.

WCS in the Field
Across Africa, lions and other great predators are disappearing.  Until recently scientists believed there were 100-200,000 lions living in Africa, but a recent survey has found that the number has dropped dramatically to approximately 29,000 (IUCN 2006) and most of these are living in protected National Parks and reserves. Outside of these protected areas lions are being slaughtered at an alarming rate by people who kill them to protect their livestock. Ever-expanding human populations push people and livestock into the remaining lion range.  The result is habitat destruction and bushmeat poaching which decimates wild prey and forces lions to depend on livestock for food. Unless urgent action is taken, lions may be completely wiped out from these unprotected areas.   WCS conservation field staff is on the ground working to protect wildlife and these wild lands in Africa and around the world.

WCS’s African Carnivore Conservation programs conserve imperiled populations of large cats – including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and golden cats – in critical landscapes in Africa, ensuring their unique role in the landscape as large predators. WCS works where African cats are commonly challenged – in fragmented landscapes, and where there is human/wildlife conflict.  Key program activities include: building corridors to ensure free movement of populations; monitoring disease spread between feral cats and dogs and large carnivore populations to tackle disease outbreaks; and stemming illegal killing of large predators by hunters. WCS collaborates with local governments, NGOs, and local communities, building constituencies that will support large predator conservation.


Contact:

Mary Dixon (Best weekend Contact) – 347-840-1242 (cell); mdixon@wcs.org  
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org



The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.


The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.


Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to www.wcs.org/donation.

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