3 lion cubs born at Six Flags Great Adventure

JACKSON TWP., N.J. - February 19, 2014

Two were born in January and one was born just two weeks ago.

The nine-pound baby brothers weighed approximately three pounds at birth on January 10. When the Safari's animal care team realized one of the cubs was in distress shortly after birth, they made the decision to remove both cubs from their mother's care.

"If we didn't intervene, that cub probably wouldn't have survived," said Dr. Ken Keiffer. "So we had to go in and take that one and we made the decision at that time it was probably better for us to take both cubs, one to raise them together and later when we are reintroducing them into our pride, it's easier to introduce two cubs rather than just one."

The duo resides in the Safari's nursery, surrounded by plush toys.

A third cub, a single, male lion born to a first-time mom just two weeks ago, still resides in an incubator in the veterinary clinic. The animal care team rescued the tiny cub when he was abandoned at birth.

"They just don't know what they are doing, so they either try and they fail or they just abandon them and don't take care of them at all," said Dr. Keiffer.

The three cubs have yet to be named. Six Flags will solicit the help of Facebook fans to name the new additions in an upcoming online poll.

So for now animal care teams from Great Adventure are playing parent hand, raising the cubs on milk and cat food four times a day.

"They are doing great as you can see. They are bouncing around, running around; they're doing really well. So we're at a point where we feel really confident that they are going to be fine," said Dr. Keiffer.

When full grown, the three male lions will weigh approximately 500 pounds each.

"At three months, we will begin introducing red meat, and at six-month, they will be on red meat only," said Dr. Keiffer.

This spring, guests can see the lion cubs on the Safari Off Road Adventure at the amusement park.

Then, the trio will be introduced to a larger pride in the Safari's lion section, Kingsland.

In total, Six Flags Safari is home to 21 lions.

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