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Santa Barbara Zoo lion cub recovering after illness

The female cub has also been given a name
Posted at 11:12 AM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 14:12:20-05

An African lion cub born at the Santa Barbara Zoo Nov. 5 is doing well after becoming sick in the days following her birth, according to Zoo staff.

The cub, determined to be a girl and named Pauline, became “critically ill” Nov. 19, being hypothermic and hypoglycemic after not getting enough milk from her mother, and was transferred to a veterinary hospital for intensive care.

Zoo staff say Pauline has been in an incubator where she is receiving fluid therapy and learning to nurse from a bottle.

“The first month of a lion cub’s life is precarious in terms of survival, particularly when born to a first-time mother,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the vice president of animal care & health at the zoo. “Felicia is a young first-time mother and this situation that has occurred with her cub is not uncommon with inexperienced mothers. We are very happy to report that the cub has been responding well to treatment and is now successfully nursing from a bottle. The cub will remain in the hospital for a little longer and then she will move back to the lion holding area so that she can be in close proximity to her parents, Felicia and Ralph, but will continue to be bottle-fed until she is weaned.”

The family sponsoring Pauline and her parents, Felicia and Ralph, who both came to the Zoo last year, named the new cub.

Mother and cub won’t make an official public debut at the zoo until sometime next year.

will remain behind the scenes for approximately eight weeks before making their official public debut.

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African lion Felicia and her new cub at the Santa Barbara Zoo