Buffalo Zoo Names Male African Lion Cub

Baby-Lion-Cub-Press-030Buffalo, N.Y. (May 24, 2016) –The Buffalo Zoo announces the name Tobias as official name of near three-month-old male African lion cub.

On April 27, 2016, the Buffalo Zoo announced the birth of a male lion cub to first time parents Lelie and Tiberius. At the time of the announcement, it was still uncertain what the cub would be called, or the process by which the Zoo would eventually name him.

In the case of this cub, the first in twenty-five years, the husbandry and overall care took a personal turn for his caregivers, led by Alicia DuBrava, lead big cats keeper. As the cub of a first-time lioness mother who had difficulty with successful nursing, he was trained early to accept feedings through the holding area protective mesh. His continued growth and positive health checks are testament to this successful approach, which enabled bonding with his mother while satisfying his nutritional needs.

At close to twenty pounds and nearly three months old, however, it is understandable that the keeper staff began to call him by something; that something being the name Tobias. When discussions occurred surrounding an official public name, it became clear that the entire Zoo team had embraced this name for him and has decided to keep it. The name has no particular significance other than a fascination of comparing Tobias’ paws and toes to those of his parents. According to DuBrava, “while it is not uncommon to have a public and completely different behind-the-scenes name, we are hopeful that the public will embrace this name, particularly when considering his cute nickname, Toby. We hope they will be pleased.”

Efforts continue to acquaint Tobias with the rest of the lion pride, and planning has started for his introduction to the outdoor yard as a precursor to his eventual public debut. The Zoo will continue to keep the public informed of progress at all levels.

River Otter Pups Born at the Buffalo Zoo

North-America-River-Otter-PBuffalo, N.Y. (May 4, 2016) – The Buffalo Zoo is thrilled to welcome a litter of North American river otter pups.

The litter is comprised of a male and a female born on February 28, 2016 to mother, eleven-year-old Ellie.  The father of the litter is nine-year-old Rascal.  This is the second litter of pups born to the otter pair, with their first litter born in 2014.

Since their birth two months ago, Ellie has once again demonstrated attentive maternal care, including teaching them to swim in an inside pool adjacent to their den.  Keepers have named the pups Luke & Leia, in homage to the infamous sci-fi siblings.  They were introduced to their exterior habitat on May 2. Based on positive observations, Zoo staff is pleased to report that the public may get a glimpse of the pups in Otter Creek between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily, weather-dependent.

Conservation efforts in the 1990’s have brought the North American river otter population to a stable status in the wild, after being on the verge of extinction. 

The Otter Creek exhibit is presented by 2findyourhome.Buffalo

Zoo Announces the Birth of a Male African Lion Cub

Baby-Lion-Cub-Press-030Buffalo, N.Y. (April 27, 2016) –The Buffalo Zoo announces with cautious optimism the birth of a male African lion cub to first time parents Lelie and Tiberius. 

Buffalo Zoo President & CEO Dr. Donna Fernandes is pleased to announce the birth of a male African lion cub, the first cub in twenty-five years.  The birth occurred on March 5, 2016 at approximately 6 p.m.  The nearly eight-week-old cub is the first for mother Lelie (6) and father Tiberius (3). Both adult lions are the offspring of native African lions and were paired as a result of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation.  Lelie was born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. in 2010 and Tiberius was born at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY in 2013. They arrived to Buffalo in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

According to Dr. Fernandes, “we are cautiously optimistic concerning our new lion cub and we are thrilled with his progress so far, but he is not out of the woods yet. In fact, it is common not to have any surviving offspring of a first-time litter by a lioness, in the wild or in human care.”  The litter was comprised of four cubs but three died within the first two days, which makes the surviving cub all the more important. Keepers are following by-the-book care standards, monitoring the mother and the cub during this critical bonding and growth time.

It is expected to be some time before the new cub will make his public debut in the lion exhibit.  He will need to achieve several milestones, including continued growth and positive health checks. Given the expected public interest, the Zoo will be posting pictures and video snippets of the cub to its social media pages on a regular basis over the coming few months.

Lelie’s half-sister Lusaka (6), born three weeks after Lelie in 2010 at the Smithsonian National Zoo will also be going off-exhibit in the coming days.  She is displaying signs of pregnancy and will be maintained in holding until further notice.  Any news concerning this development will be offered by the Zoo in due-time.

African lions are classified as vulnerable in the wild by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service takes a stronger stance, classifying the African lion as endangered.  Loss of habitat and poaching are among the key causes of this classification.  Every cub born and successfully reared will make a difference.


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