Bill Rives, Safari director and chief veterinarian, said a pair of male cubs were born Jan. 10 and were removed from their mother for their protection after one of the cubs experienced problems shortly after birth, the Times of Trenton, N.J., reported Wednesday.
"In the wild, only 20 percent of lion cubs reach their first birthday," said Ken Keiffer, a park veterinarian. "It's common for mothers to abandon sickly cubs, and also to stop caring for a litter containing a single cub. We wanted to give both cubs the best chance for survival and ensure a successful pride introduction when they are grown, which meant keeping them together."
The third cub, also a male, was born to a different mother last week and is currently in an incubator at the veterinary clinic after being rejected by his first-time mother.
"With big cats, mothers don't always possess the instinct to adequately care for their first litter. If this happens, we immediately intervene," Keiffer said.