OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Zoo is preparing for a new adorable addition.
On Wednesday, the zoo announced that its African lioness, Dunia, is pregnant.
Dunia is due to give birth to her first cub with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s male lion, Hubert, in September.
This will be the first offspring born to the breeding pair.
Organizers say this is incredibly significant since it has been 15 years since the last litter of African lion cubs was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
“We are extremely excited for this upcoming birth, especially after nearly 15 years since our lion family has grown,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “The opportunity to watch Dunia and the rest of the pride experience this addition is going to be incredibly special for our team members and guests. With African lions listed as a vulnerable species, each birth is vital to the continued success of this species.”
Caretakers say Dunia is healthy and her routine will remain the same throughout her pregnancy.
African lions are classified as vulnerable by the the International Union for Conservation of Nature with wild populations decreasing due to illegal hunting, habitat loss, loss of food sources and conflict with humans.
It is estimated that the total population of lions in Africa is less than 40,000 mature individuals.