Roar of excitement: Lioness gives birth to two cubs at Racine Zoo

RACINE (WITI) -- The Racine Zoo is roaring with excitement over the birth of its third litter of Transvaal lion cubs.  Azizi, the Zoo’s female lion, gave birth to two healthy lion cubs early this morning.  Mother and cubs all seem to be doing well but it may be several days before staff is able to weigh and determine the sex of the cubs.

Azizi gave birth just outside a special cubbing den outfitted with video cameras making it challenging for Zoo staff to view mother and cubs.  “We’ve had to adjust the way we monitor the cubs since we cannot rely on the cameras this time around,” said Theresa Donarski, curator conservation and animal care, Racine Zoo. “We’re still able to keep a good eye on them!”

The cubs will remain quarantined for about six weeks before being officially introduced to their public exhibit and to ensure they are healthy and well-adjusted around people.

The two adult lions continue to be separated after the birth but Aslan, the father, is able to view Azizi and the cubs while he continues to have access to the outdoor exhibit in Great Cat Canyon. The “Pride of Racine” will be reunited when the cubs reach an appropriate age.

Details about a “Name the Cubs” contest sponsored by Johnson Bank as well as many special events celebrating the cubs’ arrival will follow.