BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Zoo, working in conjunction with Zoo Miami, has welcomed a new lion cub which will be raised with the brother and sister cub born at The Maryland Zoo in October. This young female cub, named Zuri, was part of an original litter of three (two males and one female) that were born at Zoo Miami on September 24th. Following the death of the first male due to apparent maternal neglect, the remaining two were pulled for hand-rearing. Unfortunately, the second male died late last month from what appeared to be a metabolic imbalance and other symptoms that may have been a result of a congenital anomaly.
In an effort to provide the surviving lion cub at Zoo Miami with the best possible environment to properly socialize it to adulthood, the 3-month-old female cub was sent to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. She arrived at the Zoo late on December 9, and is now in 30-day quarantine with the Zoo’s cubs. Zuri will be hand raised alongside the Maryland Zoos’ two two-month-old cubs at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP).
Because lions are social by nature, Zoo Miami staff felt that it was important to get the surviving cub into a situation that would expose it to others of its kind on a regular basis. The Maryland Zoo was at the top of the list to be contacted in an effort to find another institution with lions that was presently raising cubs of a similar age. “We feel very fortunate to have connected with The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore which has agreed to accept the cub and hopefully be able to introduce it to two other cubs of similar age that are presently being raised there,” said Ron Magill, communications director at Zoo Miami. “The ultimate goal will be to properly socialize this cub so that she can be successfully introduced into a pride as an adult.”
Zuri was driven to Virginia by Zoo Miami staff, where she was met by a team from The Maryland Zoo, who drove her the remainder of the way to Maryland. “Zuri was introduced to her new littermates upon arrival on Monday night, and they have all been adjusting to the change well,” stated Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager. “We are monitoring her interactions with our cubs closely and will need to be very careful about her social integration. We hope she continues to thrive in our care, and we’ll do our best to make sure that happens.”