How cute are these little Asian lion cubs?
They were born eight weeks ago at the Fota Wildlife Park in County Cork in Ireland, to second time parents, mother Gira and father Shanto. So far staff aren't sure whether the cubs are girls or boys, and they haven't been given names. Now staff want the public to name them, and be in with a chance to win one of four a year-long Conservation Annual Pass. Their parents first litter, born one and a half years old, are called Amira, Arya and Loki, and live in their specially designed habitat in Fota Wildlife Park, with their parents, new siblings, and aunt Gita. Fota Lead Ranger Kelly Lambe said "We are thrilled with the arrival of this litter of four Asian lion cubs at Fota Wildlife Park. This species is endangered and now inhabits only one remaining site in the world - the Gir Forest, in India, which means that wildlife parks and zoos play a crucial role in safeguarding the species and maintaining the genetic diversity outside of the pocket of the wild population.
What do we know about Asian Lions?
Almost all the world's population of wild lions live in sub-Sharan Africa except for the Asian lion which inhabits the Gir Forest in India, which has now become a reserve for this endangered species.
are now only 500 Asian lions living in the wild, so breeding them in
zoos and wildlife parks do is very important to make sure the species
survives long into the future.
"We are delighted that there are four cubs thriving and they are all feeding and bonding well with their mum, Gira."
Fota Wildlife Park opened the Asian Sanctuary in 2015, and it is now home to some of Asia's most endangered species such as the Indian rhino, the Sumatran tiger and the Asian lion.
Do you fancy giving these cubs some names? You can go to the wildlife park website to put your suggestions forward for consideration.
Let us know in the comments what names you've gone for!