Detroit Zoo welcomes first lion cub born in 40 years

Posted at 9:17 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 21:17:01-05

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Binti, a female lion cub, is the first to be born at the Detroit Zoo in 40 years. She was welcomed to her new home on Sept. 10.

Her name means "daughter" in Swahili. Binti's mother is a 4-year-old lioness named Asha, who underwent a cesarean section. During labor, Asha lost three other cubs who were stillborn.

Binti is a holiday gift, the zoo said in a release.

“She has grown so much, has a lot of energy, and is very curious and playful,” said Elizabeth Arbaugh, DZS curator of mammals. “She is learning to live with other lions, starting with her aunt, Amirah. We expect that she will eventually live with her entire family as a member of the Detroit Zoo pride.”

Binti's mother Asha came to the Detroit Zoo from the Buffalo Zoo in May 2019. Her father, Simba, previously lived with the royal family of Qatar and came to the Detroit Zoo in 2013.

Read more on Binti and her parents' journey here.