Dallas Zoo announces births of 3 African lion cubs

The zoo says the third cub came as a surprise

Meet Izwi, Ilola and Tadala.

The Dallas Zoo has announced this week the births of three African lion cubs, describing them as the first litter of multiple big cats welcomed at the facility since 1974.

“These three cubs are the embodiment of resiliency, strength, and hope, which we hope can be a bright spot in our community right now,” said Gregg Hudson, its president and CEO, according to Fox4.

The Dallas Zoo announced this week the births of three African lion cubs. (Dallas Zoo)

The Dallas Zoo announced this week the births of three African lion cubs. (Dallas Zoo)

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The cubs were born on Aug. 17 after their mother, Bahati, underwent a cesarean section procedure.

The zoo says the name of Izwi, a male, means “vocal” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe. Ilola, a female, is said to have undergone weeks of physical therapy to correct developmental issues in her legs, and was named after the phrase “to become strong” in the Sesotho language of South Africa.

The name of Tadala, the third cub and also a female, means “we have been blessed” in the southeast-African Chewa language, the Zoo adds.

The cubs will make remain in their den for a few more weeks before making their public debut. (Dallas Zoo)

The cubs will make remain in their den for a few more weeks before making their public debut. (Dallas Zoo)

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“During Bahati’s initial ultrasounds, it was clear that two cubs were developing, but during the birth, we were thrilled to find three cubs instead!” it said in a statement.

Zoo officials say the cubs are expected to remain away from view for several more weeks before making their debut to the public.