Royal Oak Tribune

Detroit Zoo says it had birth of first lion in 40 years

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ROYAL OAK » A lion has been born at the Detroit Zoo for the first time in 40 years.

The zoo said the birth of Binti, which means daughter in Swahili, occurred in September. Her mother is a 4-year-old named Asha.

Binti was born by cesarean section. Three other cubs didn’t survive, the zoo said Tuesday.

“She has grown so much, has a lot of energy, and is very curious and playful,” said Elizabeth Arbaugh, the Detroit Zoo’s curator of mammals. “She is learning to live with other lions, starting with her aunt, Amirah.”

Asha’s life- saving surgery and recovery meant that the normal bonding process could not occur, the zoo said.

Binti’s father is a lion named Simba, who once lived with the royal family in Qatar. He has been at the zoo since 2013.

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