Sukari, the San Francisco Zoo’s 13-year-old African lioness, has given birth to a new member of the pride. Someday, all this will be his — or hers, as the Zoo reports the cubs' gender won't be known for three weeks.
The birth occurred yesterday at about 2:30 a.m., with zoo officials monitoring it through a camera in Sukari's den.
“We’re past the first 72 hours, which are critical to the cub’s survival,” zoo Executive Director Tanya Peterson said. “Sukari is bonding with and nursing her cub well.”
Sukari has had two cubs before, and both have gone on to live at a zoo in Omaha Nebraska. Officials "accelerated breeding behavior" between Sukari and Jahari, one of the SF Zoo's three lions and its only male, earlier this year, with Sukari becoming pregnant in May.
Don't expect to see the cub in person just yet, as the Lion House is currently closed. “We give the new mother and cub a wide berth, respecting their privacy to encourage their bond,” said Corrine MacDonald, who is curator of primates and carnivores. But, here's a photo from the zoo folks of the cub snoozing!