BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Maryland Zoo announces the birth of two lion cubs, while mourning the loss of their mother, lioness “Badu.”

On Oct. 3, the female lioness “Badu” went into labor and gave birth to two cubs. On Friday morning, Badu started exhibiting signs of birth complications and the veterinary team had to intervene.

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“Two additional cubs had to be removed surgically, neither of which survived,” said Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Maryland Zoo, in a news release.

Although Badu had been attentive to the two surviving cubs, she had difficulty caring for them after the surgery and animal staff took over the job of feeding them. They also worked closely with veterinarians to assist with Badu’s surgical recovery.

“She continued to have complications, and despite the best efforts of both veterinary and animal staff, Badu died Monday afternoon,” Bronson said. “While we are deeply saddened by the loss of this spirited cat, we now must turn our attention to caring for her young cubs. They are only six days old, and are just beginning to open their eyes.”

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The cubs — one male and one female — appear healthy and are being cared for by the animal staff.

“This is a tremendous loss for the Zoo. Badu was a young cat, wonderful to watch on exhibit, and a good mate to Hassan,” said Don Hutchinson, president/CEO of The Maryland Zoo. “But despite losing Badu, we should also remember that she left behind two new additions to our Zoo family. They are the first lion cubs born here in the history of this Zoo, and are being cared for around the clock by our amazing staff.  I am proud of the team that has worked so hard this week under very challenging circumstances.”

The cubs will remain off exhibit while staff are caring for them.

Hassan, the father of the cubs, and Cuma, another adult lion, will continue to be on exhibit while the cubs are being raised in the den.

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