Three precious lion cubs were just born at Werribee Open Range Zoo

They are the first of this threatened lion species to be born at the zoo in almost six years

Leah Glynn
Written by
Leah Glynn
Melbourne Editor
Three lion cubs feed from their mother in a dark, enclosed space.
Photograph: Supplied

Here’s some roar-some news to brighten your day: Werribee Open Range Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a bouncing bundle of lion cubs, born on June 4 to 11-year-old mother Nilo and five-year-old pride male Sheru.

The furry threesome – each weighing around 1.5 kilograms – are the first of this threatened species to be born at the zoo in almost six years. African lions are officially listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, and their population has dropped to somewhere between 23,000 and 39,000 in the wild.

“The safe arrival of these lion cubs is really exciting. It's wonderful to have three more healthy African lions in the Australasian zoo breeding and conservation program,” said Werribee Open Range Zoo director, Dr Mark Pilgrim. “Unfortunately their wild cousins are facing increasing threats including human-wildlife conflict, poaching and habitat destruction.”

Veterinarians and zookeepers monitored third-time mother Nilo carefully during her three-month pregnancy, and she and the cubs will remain in a secure, private area for at least eight weeks until they're ready to meet the public. In the meantime, Zoos Victoria members and donors are encouraged to keep an eye out for a voting competition to name the trio. 

If you’re still keen to experience some real-life Lion King action, father Sheru and adult lioness Asali can be spotted along the zoo’s African River Trail. To stay on top of the cute cub-related developments as they come in, head to the Zoos Victoria Instagram account.


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