City News

Two new lion cubs to roar into the world at Henry Vilas Zoo

Two African lion cubs, who haven’t yet been named, will be on display at Henry Vilas Zoo as early as May.

Just in time for the summer, the Henry Vilas Zoo is now home to two African lion cubs who will be on display for visitors as soon as May, officials announced Thursday.

“The birth of these cubs is an incredible accomplishment for both the Henry Vilas Zoo family and the conservation work our zoo staff does every day,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in a press release. “It doesn’t get much better than healthy, happy baby lions which will no doubt be a must-see attraction for our zoo in the months ahead.”

The cubs—both just a couple months old—will take the stage once they are big enough to leave the den.

Henry Vilas Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan. Lions are threatened in the wild, according to the county executive’s office, and holding them in captivity is part of a national effort to maintain a healthy population of the species.

“We take a lot of pride in the work our zoo is doing to help conserve this much-loved species,” Parisi said.

The cubs were born to two first-time parent lions, Shakura and Pelo. For the next few weeks, Pelo will spend time in both his indoor and outdoor exhibit and Shakura will “continue adjusting to motherhood,” officials said.

“We’re very excited to see how well Shakura has adapted to being an attentive and caring mother to her cubs, especially as a first time mom,” zoo director Ronda Schwetz said.

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