Fota calls on the public to help name four newborn Asian lion cubs
FOTA Wildlife Park in Co Cork today announced the birth of four Asian lion cubs to second-time parents.
The four 'panthera leo persica' cubs, born to mother Gira and father Shanto, were born alongside a fifth cub who was stillborn.
The eight-week-old cubs join their parent’s first litter who are now one and a half years old - Amira, Arya and Loki and aunt Gita - in their specially designed habitat in Fota Wildlife Park.
Fota have called on members of the public to help name them. Entrees will be in with a chance to win one of four year-long Conservation Annual Passes.
Lead Ranger Kelly Lambe said that staff were "thrilled" with the latest arrival.
"This species is endangered and now inhabits only one remaining site in the world – the Gir Forest, in India, which means that wildlife parks and zoos play a crucial role in safeguarding the species and maintaining the genetic diversity outside of the pocket of the wild population," Ms Kelly said.
"Unfortunately, one of the cubs was stillborn, however, five in a litter in extremely rare and we are delighted that there are four cubs thriving and they are all feeding and bonding well with Mum Gira.
"It’s Gira’s second litter with our male lion, Shanto, and she is a protective mum."
All four cubs were vaccinated and weighed yesterday, and all weigh 7.15kg.
The Asian Sanctuary at Fota opened in 2015 and is now home to some of Asia’s most endangered species such as the Indian rhino, the Sumatran tiger and the Asian lion.
Last week, the park unveiled the arrival of a pair of Drill monkeys as part of an international programme to save the animal which is closely related to both baboons and mandrills.
The pair arrived from Stuttgart Zoo and are comprised of veteran male, Julian, who is 22 years old, and a female, Buddy, who is 28 years old.
- More information on the naming competition can be found here: www.fotawildlife.ie/blog