PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — On Thursday, the staff at Lion Country Safari in Palm Beach County debuted their two new African lion cubs named Atlas and Mara. They each weigh around 17 pounds and were born this past November.
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Lion Country Safari introduces two new African lion cubs, Atlas, left, and Mara, right, to the public inside the preserve in Loxahatchee on January 2, 2020. The cubs, the first to be born at the facility in nearly 20 years, are the offspring of mom Leela and dad K’wasi. They were born on November 8th, 2019, weighing about three pounds, and now weigh just under 20. [RICHARD GRAULICH/palmbeachpost.com] @lioncountrysafari #lioncub #palmbeachcounty
The siblings are very curious about playing with the freshly placed foliage and discovering that it makes an excellent hiding spot from the view of our WPTV cameras.
The duo are the first cubs to born at the animal adventure park in nearly 20 years.
Previously, Lion Country Safari would have the keepers raise the cubs, but this time the park has updated its thinking.
"They are being parent-reared," said Lion Country Safari spokesperson Haley Passeser. "They will ultimately be apart of our complete pride. Our care is, of course, to monitor and take good care of them without being very hands on."
"We try and display those animals in their larger, more natural settings and their natural social groups," said Wildlife Director Brian Dowling. "To achieve that natural situation for the animals, it is much better for them to be raised by their parent."
The cubs are the children of mom, Leela, and dad, K'wasi.
"Lions are actually classified as vulnerable, so they need us in human care to keep those populations healthy [and] genetically viable, so we participate in those conservation and breeding programs," said Passeser.
The adorable cubs have already started to develop their personalities. Mara is very playful and active, and Atlas is a little more stoic like his father.
"It will be about two weeks or so until the cubs will be intermittently visible to the public, but Leela and the cubs will actually set the pace for this process," said Passeser.
To learn more about Lion County Safari and all the exotic animals there, click here.