Santa Barbara Zoo’s African Lion Delivers First Cub

Lion Parents Felicia and Ralph Have First Cub

Felicia and Pauline | Credit: Lauren Gonzales

The Santa Barbara Zoo welcomed a new member to the family on Thursday, November 5 after African lion Felicia gave birth to her first cub. The cub weighed in at 3.9 pounds, and the sex will be determined at its next examination. 

“Both Felicia and the cub appear healthy and are doing well,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the zoo’s vice president of animal care and health. “The first few weeks of a lion cub’s life are very fragile, so the best course of action for us during this time is to allow Felicia to care for and bond with her new cub. Our animal care team will continue to closely monitor Felicia and the cub while giving the solitude needed during this critical first period.”

And that is exactly what they’re doing. For the next eight weeks before making their public debut, Felicia and her new cub will bond behind the scenes. Two-year-old Felicia isn’t the only new parent on Thursday, either. The cub’s father, five-year-old Ralph, is also a new dad.


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