Skip to main content


After a difficult start in life, Denver Zoo's seven-week-old lion cub is thriving under the care of her new surrogate mother, lioness Natal, and the zookeepers who bottle-feed her daily. This little female lion cub, named Asali, now has a second chance to be part of a pride of lions. "Natal has proven to be a nurturing mother. We're so pleased that she is willing to raise this cub as her own. To our knowledge this is one of the first successful introductions of a surrogate lioness and cub in North American zoos," says VP for biological programs Lynn Kramer. Born to a first-time mother, a lioness named Baby, on November 23, Asali was nursing and appeared to be doing well her first few weeks with her mother. However, after three weeks zookeepers saw a sudden change in behavior, as the mother lost interest in nursing. Zoo staff began offering the cub supplemental bottle feedings by briefly separating the animals - ultimately hoping to keep the mother and cub together long-term. Despite the zoo's best efforts and continued supplemental bottle feedings, Asali lost weight and appeared lethargic. Zoo staff responded quickly transporting the cub to Alameda East Veterinary Hospital for further examination on December 18. Alameda East Veterinarian and Zoo Board Member Dr. Robert Taylor and the zoo's veterinary staff found the cub was dehydrated. To help the cub gain strength, the veterinarians inserted a feeding tube to supplement the bottle-feedings. Asali responded immediately showing increased strength and playfulness as her weight began to climb. Staff continued offering the cub bottle-feedings to supplement the tube feedings as veterinary staff cared for the cub around the clock, taking the young cub home nightly.

  •  
Loading content ...
you wish to report:


...
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK