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Lion triplets born at Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo yesterday welcomed Africn lion triplets, born to 5-year-old Adia (ah-DEE-uh) and 7-year-old father, Xerxes. This is Xerxes’ first offspring; Adia gave birth in 2012 to four cubs with a different male.

Lion-triplets-born-2014-resized

Photo by Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo.

All three of the cubs are male. The cubs and mom are bonding in the off-view maternity den.

You can see more pictures and video on the zoo’s blog.

Lion cubs typically weigh about 3 pounds at birth. They are born blind and open their eyes within a week or two after birth.

Woodland Park Zoo’s lions belong to the South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. Known as the Transvaal lion, it ranges in Southern Sahara to South Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest belt, in grassy plains, savanna and open woodlands. These lions range in weight from 260 to 400 pounds.

The African lion is the only big cat not protected under the Endangered Species Act. As few as 32,000 African lions are estimated to remain in the wild and their future remains uncertain, particularly as the growth in human population continues to impact lion populations. There is legal hunting of lions and retaliation killing because they pose a threat to humans and livestock.