April 22, 2010
Two lion cubs born at Racine Zoo
Two lion cubs were born at the Racine Zoo on March 16.
The Transvaal cubs – one male and one female -- are the second litter born to Elsa and Aslan. The cubs weigh approximately 11 pounds each. Both mother and cubs are doing very well, hitting all health and developmental benchmarks.
Theresa Donarski, the zoo's animal care supervisor, said, “We knew there was a high likelihood that Elsa would give birth again. She and Aslan proved to be great parents to the four cubs born a few years ago. Elsa is definitely more comfortable this time, though. She will leave the cubs in their den and go outside for short stretches, allowing us to easily access the cubs for health screenings.”
The cubs are in quarantine and not yet on exhibit due to the process of acclimating them to their family and environment. Quarantine ends on Thursday, May 27 when they go on exhibit in the Vanishing Kingdom historic main building during a Members Appreciation event. They are scheduled for public viewing starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 29. They will then be on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Jay Christie, president of the zoo, said, "We’ve had a tough time keeping their births quiet, but wanted to be sure they were healthy and Elsa was taking good care of them prior to sharing this exciting news." In the next few weeks, the zoo will announce details of a “Name the Cubs” contest.
Here are pictures of the cubs' parents. Dad Aslan was sunning outside this afternoon, but Mom Elsa stayed inside, looking out the window at three piles of fresh meat put there by her keeper -- but refusing to leave her cubs, despite the arrival of Channel 4's videographer.
Here's our story and picture of Elsa's last litter, which was born on Sept. 6, 2007.