Zoo Chat | Lion cubs growing up fast

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s four male lion cubs are nearing eight months of age, and are displaying their boisterous, active personalities more than ever.

Karoo, Virunga, Sheru and Bakari were born in November last year, and are the second litter of lion cubs to be born at the zoo.

From a birth weight of around two kilograms, to now weighing over 30 kilograms each, they are growing fast.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo's lion cubs are now eight months old and weight over 30kgs already. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Taronga Western Plains Zoo's lion cubs are now eight months old and weight over 30kgs already. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

They each have healthy appetites, consuming two kilograms of feed daily.

Mealtime marks a much-needed reprieve from hours spent pouncing, chasing, and wrestling each other on exhibit.

But despite their seemingly endless energy, the cubs sleep for more than half the day.

Lions are also the only cats that live in large, social groups called ‘prides’, and as a result, the cubs enjoy interacting with their mother, Maya, and father, Lazarus, as well as their older sisters and brother.

These four cubs and their family will be moving to the exciting new African Lion Pridelands exhibit at the end of the year, featuring a large 3.5-hectare open expanse for the lion pride to roam.

Our Zoo Keepers have been working with the cubs to condition them for transport ahead of the transition, which will help them to stay relaxed come moving time.

A must-see for visitors to the Zoo, the four Lion cubs are most active in the morning. Visitors can learn more about the pride at the daily keeper talk at 12.35pm.



The zoo is excited to announce a name for 12-week-old female Southern Black Rhinoceros calf – Mesi.

The name Mesi means ‘smoke’ in the South African Sotho language, and was decided on by zoo keepers following a recent vote.

“The name is quite different to any of our other Black Rhinoceros names, whilst also reflecting the native homeland of this species, so we felt it was very fitting,” keeper Jake Williams said.

As the first offspring for mother Kufara, the calf’s birth on April 11 heralded the third generation of Southern Black Rhino to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

“Over the past couple of months mother and calf have formed a very strong bond behind the scenes,” Jake said.

“Both are doing extremely well and Kufara is continuing to show a very strong maternal instinct.

She is very protective of Mesi, and it’s been so pleasing to see her doing such a great job of caring for her little one.”

At birth Mesi weighed approximately 25-30 kilograms, and since then has grown to an estimated weight of between 80-100kg.