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Cubs now on exhibit

The cubs and mom are scheduled to be on exhibit 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, weather dependent. Look for them in the award-winning African Savanna exhibit. 

About the birth

Good things happen to those who wait, and we’ve been awaiting this good thing for 20 years—the birth of lions at Woodland Park Zoo!

Cubs at 3 weeks old. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Our 3-year-old South African lion Adia gave birth the evening of November 8 to four cubs following a gestation period of 109 days. 

This is the first litter for mom Adia and 13-year-old father Hubert, and it’s also the first litter born at the zoo since 1991. 

Lion parents: Hubert (left) and Adia (right).

Making a match

Adia arrived in 2010 from Ohio’s Columbus Zoo and Aquarium under a breeding recommendation by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions. The complex system of SSPs matches animals in North American zoos based on genetic diversity and demographic stability. But, as mammal curator Martin Ramirez tells us, matchmaking efforts also take into consideration the behavior and personality of animals, and we’re very fortunate the attraction between Adia and Hubert was mutual and there was a connection! 

Of course, Adia and Hubert wouldn’t have hit it off without the many hours of time and care their keepers invested into the match, ensuring a successful introduction between the two. These cubs are a wonderful testament to their dedication. 

Woodland Park Zoo’s lions belong to the South African subspecies, Panthera leo krugeri. A 13-year-old female lion, named Kalisa, also lives at the zoo’s award-winning African Savanna. 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.


Lion conservation

Through the zoo’s Wildlife Survival Fund, Woodland Park Zoo supports the Ruaha Carnivore Project through the Lion Species Survival Plan Conservation Campaign. The project works in Tanzania to mitigate human conflict with lions and other large carnivores that share the Ruaha landscape, while collecting baseline data on lion populations to help shape lion and large carnivore conservation.


Additional Videos

Watch video highlights from the cubs' birth and first weeks.


Woodland Park Zoo Blog
Road trip: four states, two lions

Lions on the move

Lion cubs nearing their first birthday

Celebrating zoo moms

The lion cub names are...

This feed has 17 articles on 4 pages << < 1 2 3 4 > >>


Celebrate the birth of Woodland Park Zoo's lion cubs with a ZooParent adoption!

Your adoption will help support the care of the cubs and animals across the zoo, and conservation efforts in the wild.

Become a ZooParent today!


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