By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time ever, lion cubs are born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. But the excitement is mixed with sadness as the zoo lost the cubs’ mother.

Mary Bubala reports.

The new cubs, still to be named, were born last Thursday at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

“The first cubs in our zoo’s history, which is fantastically exciting and a huge achievement for our team,” said Margie Rose-Innes, Asst. General Curator.

But Rose-Innes tells WJZ the next morning, their mother, Badu, started showing signs of birth complications and the veterinary team had to step in.

“They had to go in surgically and remove both of the remaining cubs, and unfortunately, neither of them survived,” she said. “Badu did come through the surgery. So we were hopeful that she would recover fully and unfortunately that did not work out.”

Badu was only three and a half years old, so it was a shock to the staff to lose her at such an early age. Now their sadness has really evolved into a sense of care and concern for the two new cubs.

The cubs will be cared for in a special den out of the public eye.

“They are like newborn kittens. Their eyes are just opening, they are still being hand-fed, they are very wobbly still. So it’s going to be awhile before they are strong enough to come out on exhibit,” said Rose-Innes.

Zoo officials would not give a timeframe for when the cubs will be out for the public to see. They will be weened in about a month and then the decision will be made.

The zoo also hopes to involve the public in naming the cubs.

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