: News

Filed Under:

Zoo Mourns Death Of Newborn Lion

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Sheir

Keepers at the National Zoo are mourning the death of their first new African lion cub in more than 20 years. The cub died days after it was born.

The mother, Nababiep, gave birth Tuesday. Craig Saffoe, an interim curator at the Zoo, says the cub died of pneumonia last night.

"The animal ingested the top of a haygrass seed that has a little bit of [a] spiky tip to it," he says, "and that migrated into the lungs."

Saffoe says Zoos often use haygrass as bedding. He calls the death a "one-in-a-million" fluke, but says "we want to make sure we're reducing that if possible. So we will likely continue some form of a hay bedding. I just don't know if it will be the same grass hay we're using now."

The cub was Naba's first. Saffoe says it isn't fair to say whether she is "grieving."

"When we get in to trying to think for animals, or trying to apply human emotions to animals, it's a very slippery slope," he says. "So what we do as animal husbandry managers is we react to what the animals' needs are."

That's why they've reunited Nababiep with her sister, Shera. Saffoe says he hopes the pair soon will rejoin Luke, the male of the pride.

NPR

Ohio's Law Against Political Lying Heads To Supreme Court

Can a state law prevent political campaigns from doling out misinformation? Guest host Celeste Headlee learns more from The Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton.
NPR

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Scientists and food activists are launching a campaign to promote seeds that can be freely shared, rather than protected through patents and licenses. They call it the Open Source Seed Initiative.
NPR

Ohio's Law Against Political Lying Heads To Supreme Court

Can a state law prevent political campaigns from doling out misinformation? Guest host Celeste Headlee learns more from The Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton.
NPR

Why Did Vanity Fair Give 'Belfies' A Stamp Of Approval?

"Selfie" may have been the 2013 word of the year. But "belfies," or "butt selfies" are now in the spotlight. We learn more about why they earned a fitness model a spread in Vanity Fair magazine.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.