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2 lion cubs survive, 2 die at Saint Louis Zoo

zoolioncubsviaRachael MacyStLouis Zoo.jpg
(photo by Rachael Macy/Saint Louis Zoo)
Lion cubs Mtai and Serafina at two weeks old. The cubs are being hand-raised because their mother was unable to produce milk.

Two newborn lion cubs are being raised by staff at the Saint Louis Zoo more than a month after their birth, but two other cubs in the litter have died.

The African lion cubs were born Feb. 14 to the 6-year-old lioness Cabara. The zoo said Tuesday that two did not survive because Cabara couldn't produce enough milk to feed them. Zoo officials say it is not uncommon for lion mothers in the wild to rear fewer than 50 percent of the cubs born in a litter.

The two surviving cubs are females named Mtai and Serafina. The zoo says they are eating some meat and drinking formula from bottles as they are raised by staff in a behind-the-scenes nursery at the Children's Zoo.

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