Miami-Dade County

After loss of lion, Zoo Miami celebrates six cub births

Despite the loss of beloved lioness Asha last week, the circle of life goes on at Zoo Miami.

A pair of clouded leopard cubs and four lion cubs were born in March.

The lucky leopard parents conceived at the zoo for the first time.

In 2011, Mom Serai was born at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center and Dad Rajasi was born at the Nashville Zoo. They were brought to Zoo Miami and this is their first successful litter.

The two unnamed cubs, along with their mother, have been secluded in a den to avoid stress and to encourage maternal bonding since their March 13 birth, said zoo spokesman Ron Magill.

Clouded leopards are highly endangered because their pelts hold ceremonial value across the world.

A week earlier, lioness Kashifa delivered four cubs, believed to be three males and a female.

Kashifa had a litter last year, an event that turned tragic for two of her three lion cubs. One cub died from parental neglect in October and another went into cardiac arrest in November. A third cub was sent to a Maryland zoo in December.

Meanwhile, an Asian elephant also died at the zoo in late November.

Like the baby leopards, the new lion cubs, along with their mother, are in seclusion behind the lion exhibit. They are being monitored by a closed-circuit camera.

With the recent loss of Kashifa’s sister, Asha, the zoo is keeping all the new cubs under wraps for several weeks. The little ones and their mothers won’t go on public exhibit until they are deemed stable by the zoo’s staff.