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Love & Cute | June 20, 2022 6:52 AM | hangbony

Four lion cubs at Basel Zoo

After six years, Basel Zoo has had offspring again. The four gave birth behind the scenes on November 9th and 13th. The mothers of the as yet unnamed puppies are Okoa (11) and Uma (11). Since both mothers gave birth in the same whelping box and take care of their offspring together, it is still unclear which mother produced which young.

The father of the lion cubs is Mbali (11), who keeps lying in the whelping box with the whole family. Wild African lion populations have declined sharply in recent years. Basel Zoo is therefore supporting the “Predator Compensation Fund” (PCF), a lion protection project of the “Big Life Foundation” (BLF), with CHF 25,000 for 2014.


Mbali, Okoa and Uma hail from Pilanesberg and Madikwe, nature reserves in northwestern South Africa where lions from Namibia have been introduced. Since they reproduced well there, animals could be given away. Their semi-wild origins mean the lion cubs are likely to be of genetic interest in the zoo community.

As a result of the dramatic decline in the lion population in recent years, the European Zoo Association EAZA agreed in 2012 to establish a European Conservation Breeding Program (EEP) with lions from sub-Saharan Africa. This was previously only available for the Asiatic lion. In the future, the breeding program is intended to manage the entire European zoo lion population and ensure that there is as high a genetic diversity as possible.

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