Micah: Welcome back to another edition of Wild Encounters. It’s an exciting time at Riverbanks Zoo. One of the most anticipated things we’ve been waiting for, the baby lions are here. We’ve talked about the pregnant lions before. Now we have some baby cubs. Tell us a little about those baby cubs.
Alexa: They’re doing fantastic. We’re really excited. Our entire pride is all together which is the end result that we wanted. The girls are certainly growing up very quickly before our eyes and their little personalities are starting to develop and it’s really, really fun to watch.
Micah: So three females is what we have?
Alexa: Three females. Yes, three girls.
Micah: And what are their names? I know we had a whole thing about naming them.
Alexa: Yes, we had a whole thing about naming them. We have Zari, Asha, and Amara, our three girls.
Micah: Excellent, so we have them and they’re very playful. You see them moving around and it seems like they’re exploring, curious, all the things we’re looking for, right?
Alexa: Yes, absolutely. They’re really engaged in their habitat these days and they’re still exploring. It’s still new to them. They’ve been blocked out on the habitat most of the day now so people can come and see them and they’re definitely testing the limits. We’ve seen them start to look at the moat and see what’s going on down there and they’re just having a blast out here.
Micah: And everyone’s excited to see them. You can hear some friends behind us who are obviously excited to see the baby lions as well. So they’re only a few months old, correct?
Alexa: Yes, they’re about four months old now.
Micah: And so how long does it take to get to the full size like we’re seeing with mom and dad back here.
Alexa: They’ll still be about a year until they’re fully grown but they are growing pretty quickly these days.
Micah: So as a part of that conservation effort, what happens to these baby lions as they grow up?
Alexa: Well, as they grow up, you know it kind of just depends on the species survival plan within AZA accredited facilities, so they’ll decide whether these girls will go to another facility or possibly breed and help add to the population here in human care. So it really just kind of depends on, you know, where the facilities taking them these days. We’re hoping we’ll have them here for quite a while until they get to go out and have their own new adventures somewhere else.
Micah: And that’s what…once again, we talk about every single time, conservation here at Riverbanks Zoo, growing that lion population, the best genetic possible, so we can keep growing the lion population around the world.
Alexa: Yes, exactly. In the wild, the genetic population is very varied and here in human care, we’d like to emulate that as well and having the most genetic diversity is really key for keeping the population healthy and growing.
Micah: So the next thing, the most important thing, folks at home, you can come see them yourself. Just come here to Riverbanks Zoo. They’re out much of the day. They were very active here this morning, so morning probably a good time when it’s cooler to come out and see them.
Alexa: Exactly. Around 9 o’clock is when we aim to get them out. They can be a little difficult sometimes not wanting to shift out but we do the best to make it fun out here for them and we are keeping them out for most of the day so you should be able to come here and see them until about 3 o’clock or so.
Micah: Alright, so come out to Riverbanks Zoo, see the new baby lions as this whole string of baby animals at Riverbanks Zoo continues. We’ll see you next time.