Two lion cubs were born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore last week, but in a bittersweet twist, their mother died.
The young female lioness “Badu” went into labor Oct. 3 and gave birth to two cubs overnight in a special den built in the lion off-exhibit area. On Friday morning, however, she started exhibiting signs of birth complications and the veterinary team deemed it necessary to intervene.
“Two additional cubs had to be removed surgically, neither of which survived,” stated Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Zoo.
Although Badu had been attentive to the two surviving cubs, she had difficulty caring for them after the surgery and animal staff took over the job of feeding them. They also worked closely with the Zoo veterinarians to assist with Badu’s surgical recovery.
“She continued to have complications, and despite the best efforts of both veterinary and animal staff, Badu died Monday afternoon,” said Bronson. “While we are deeply saddened by the loss of this spirited cat, we now must turn our attention to caring for her young cubs. They are only six days old, and are just beginning to open their eyes.”