KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Lions at Zoo Knoxville welcomed a new member to their family recently.
A lion cub was born at Zoo Knoxville on June 16 and the zoo released photos of her on Tuesday. Her father is Upepo and her mother is Amara, with 6-month-old siblings Magi and Anga.
Zoo leaders said that Amara experienced complications while giving birth and she is being closely monitored. They said that she continued showing signs of labor after the cub was born, and the zoo performed an ultrasound when there was no progress in the delivery.
They said they found a stillborn cub and so veterinarians from the University of Tennessee performed emergency surgery. It was successful, but they said Amara has been slow to fully recover. She is being treated with medication and being given fluids and is showing improvement now, they said.
"The latest report was that she was bright, acting more like her usual self, and caring appropriately for her cub," the zoo said on social media.
The zoo also said that the cub is healthy and thriving. They shared pictures of her with her mother. They said the cub is important for the population of African lions across the world, and for zoos accredited by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums that are working to ensure a future for the species.
The zoo did not share information about the new cub's name in its post on social media.
Her siblings were born on Dec. 21, 2021, and quickly became some of the most popular residents of the zoo. They were the first cubs of Upepo and Amara and were the first lion cubs born in Knoxville since 2006.