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Buffalo Zoo welcomes new lion cub

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Posted at 9:48 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 10:01:04-04

The Buffalo Zoo is bursting with pride as it celebrates the newest addition to its family of African lions.

Lelie, one of the zoo's two lionesses, gave birth to a male cub in March. The zoo announced the birth Wednesday morning.

Lelie gave birth to a total of four cubs but the male cub, who is now seven and-a-half weeks old, was the only one that survived.

Zoo President Dr. Donna Fernandes says zoo staff are now monitoring the cub's nutrition, growth and overall health but are doing so with limited human interaction in order to give him the best chance of long-term survival. Fernandes says the cub, who has yet to be named, is not out of the woods yet from a health standpoint, but she is 'cautiously optimistic' he will continue to grow into a healthy lion.

Lelie and her sister, Lusaka, may be off limits to the public for the time being. Lusaka is also showing signs of pregnancy, Fernandes said. The sister lionesses share the exhibit with Tiberius, who arrived from Rochester in 2013.

It is not known when the new cub will be on public display.

Zoo officials say the cub likely won't stay in Buffalo very long. It may be moved to another zoo in a few years to take part in a breeding program.