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African lion gives birth to cub at Santa Barbara Zoo

It's the first African lion to be born at the zoo since 2005
SB Zoo baby lion.JPG
Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 02:29:19-05

The Santa Barbara Zoo has a new addition.

Just months after arriving at the Santa Barbara Zoo along with father, Ralph, African lion Felicia gave birth to her first cub Nov. 5.

Weighing in at 3.9 pounds, the zoo says the cub’s sex will be determined at its next examination and its name announced in the coming weeks.

Mother and cub will bond behind the scenes for about two months before the public will be able to see them.

“Both Felicia and the cub appear healthy and are doing well,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, vice president of animal care & health at the zoo. “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.”

The zoo says animal care staff suspected Felicia was pregnant based on physical changes and fecal hormone analysis.

Lions are typically pregnant for approximately 110 days before giving birth.

The cub is the first African lion to be born at the zoo since 2005.

Ralph and Felicia came to the Santa Barbara Zoo after its longtime lion, Chadwick, passed away last December.

However, the zoo says it was already planning to bring in new lions prior to that.

For more information on becoming a Foster Feeder sponsor for the new lion cub, click here.