It’s three times the fun when Asiatic Lion cub triplets Kali, Sita, and Sonika come out to play at Cotswold Wildlife Park.
Born May 25, the three female cubs have spent the last two months in the birthing den with their mother, Kanha. Lionesses rear their babies in seclusion and often reject them if they are disturbed, so the staff monitored the cubs via closed circuit TV.
According to the staff, Kanha and Rana are proving to be excellent first-time parents and all three boisterous youngsters are healthy and developing into confident cubs.
Dad Rana met the cubs in the Lions’ outdoor enclosure last week, but for the last two months, he lived next door and took a great interest in the youngsters.
Asiatic Lions are one of the world’s rarest big cat species. Wild population numbers have declined drastically over the last century, almost to the point of extinction. Once found throughout much of southwestern Asia, they are now only found in India’s Gir Forest with the 2015 census putting the entire wild population at 523 animals.
Though they live in a protected area, conservationists worry that a disease epidemic could wipe out the entire Asiatic Lion population. Breeding programs in zoos are extremely important to the future of this subspecies. Asiatic Lions are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
See more photos of the cubs below.