30, 2006 - Knoxville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of
an African lion cub. Nearly one month old and yet to be named, the
female can be seen at various times in the Pilot Traveling Exhibit
The cub was born June 6, but removed 16 days later from its mother,
Sylvan, for hand-rearing. It was discovered the cub was losing weight
and becoming dehydrated after a routine check. The decision was
made to pull her for a physical and to assist her through the first
Her physical determined she was in good health and she has continued
to gain weight since. It is the sincere hope and goal of staff to
reintroduce the cub back to the pride after she is weaned between
4-6 months old.
Until that time she will be on exhibit in the Pilot Traveling Exhibit
Center while she is being cared for by staff. Visitors will be able
to see her between 9:30-4:30 p.m. except during feeding from 12:30
to 1:30 p.m.
Staff will interact with the small cub only for feedings or medical
procedures. This will help with her reintroduction to the other
lions at the Pridelands exhibit if she has as little human interaction
This is Sylvans eighth cub since she arrived at Knoxville
Zoo in 1997. This is the zoos first lion cub since Sylvan
gave birth to triplets in January 2001 and the 57th overall since
Sylvan was imported from the Kapama Game Reserve in South Africa
to introduce a new bloodline to the Krugeri subspecies. The father,
Hubert, has been at Knoxville Zoo since arriving from the North
Carolina Zoo on a breeding recommendation in August 2003. This is
his first offspring. This cubs birth is important to the species
since there are less than 70 Krugeri African lions in institutions
accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
African lions are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) Knoxville
Zoo participates in with other institutions accredited by AZA. These
animals are part of a cooperative population management and conservation
program to ensure healthy, self-sustaining populations that maintain
maximum genetic diversity and are demographically stable. Knoxville
Zoo manages 30 animal species involved in SSP programs.
Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is
open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited
by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is committed to the
highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation,
and education. Currently, the zoo is open every day from 9:30 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo
closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information,
please call 865.637.5331 ext. 300.