PHOTOS: We’ve Got New Snaps of the Zoo’s New Lion Cubs

The Philadelphia Zoo sent us new photos of its four new African lion cubs, named, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, Kasaba, Mali, Msinga, and Sabi.

The little guys were born on Thursday, June 26th, and made their public debut on September 5th. The Zoo was kind enough to send us some snapshots to share. The images show them playing on tree trunks, wrestling with mom, and getting lick-bathed—you know, those things baby lions do.

Check out some of them below, then, starting tomorrow, @philadelphiazoo will take over @phillymag‘s Instagram account to roll out the rest.


Philly Zoo Holding Contest to Name New Lion Cubs

In early-July we ooh’d and aah’d at the four new lion cubs born at the Philadelphia Zoo. The little guys are the offspring of Tajiri and Makini, and the first African lion cubs to be born at the Zoo since 1996. By all accounts, the cubs are doing fine and growing like weeds, but there’s one major thing they’re missing: names.

To fill that void, the Zoo is holding a name contest for each new cub. There’s a poll set up on its website, where folks can go on and choose the names they like best. The first one, for instance, is up to be called Bantu, Mali, or Indaka. (Bantu! Bantu! Bantu!)

The winning names will be revealed when the cubs make their public debut sometime in the next few months. To vote, go here.

7 Weird Pa. and N.J. Animal Sightings: A Power Ranking


Pennsylvania and New Jersey have logged a number of bizarre wildlife sightings this summer, with residents and authorities spotting everything from giant exotic anacondas and gimpy bears to kitty-munching coyotes and disturbing mystery species. Since we’re quickly approaching fantasy football season, what better way to identify the best of the best than a proper power matrix? Our favorite panic-inducing locally situated critters, RANKED, after the jump. Read more »

There Have Been Way More Fireflies in Philly This Year

Thanks in part to a wet spring, there have been way more fireflies in Philadelphia this year. Neat! You’ll have to get a bigger jar to keep them in this year. (Make sure to poke holes in the top. Or, whatever, don’t they just die anyway when you do that? Yeah, wait: Don’t keep lightning bugs in a jar at all! Let them be!)

In addition to the humid weather this year, invertebrate scientist Karen Verderame says the city’s decision to use fewer pesticides have helped the firefly population. “People have been getting more connected to their environment, planting local species in their gardens, that could contribute,” she adds.

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Four Lion Cubs Born at Philadelphia Zoo

On June 26th, four new African lion cubs were born to two first-time parents at the Philadelphia Zoo—making it the first time lion cubs have been born there in 18 years. More from a press release I received this morning:

Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce four new members of its animal family: African lion cubs born to Tajiri, the Zoo’s 4-year-old female, during the early morning of Thursday, June 26th. This is the first litter for Tajiri and 6-year-old male Makini, and marks the expansion of the pride in First Niagara Big Cat Falls. These are the first lion cubs born at Philadelphia Zoo since 1996, continuing the Zoo’s successful breeding of big cats over the past few years.

Mother and cubs are doing well. Like newborn humans, lion cubs are essentially helpless, relying on their mother for care. Tajiri has been in almost constant physical contact with her cubs since their birth, and appears confident and relaxed as a first-time mother. Zoo staff continues to monitor them by video camera during this crucial time, giving Tajiri almost complete privacy in her off-exhibit den.

Woman’s Bobcat Escapes for Third Time

A New Jersey woman was cited once again after her bobcat escaped for the third time, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

Yeah, you know that friend in grade school who told you about his uncle’s neighbor who owned a wolf? This woman actually owns a bobcat.

Ginny Fine, of Stafford Township, will appear in court next Friday. The bobcat, named Rocky, was missing for about an hour.

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