Three African lion cubs were born Aug. 16-17 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, according to a press release sent Aug. 20 from zoo officials.

The cubs, born to their mother, Naomi, appear to be healthy, zoo officials said. All are being monitored behind the scenes by the zoo’s veterinary staff and Heart of Africa animal-care teams, according to the press release.

It is the first litter for 4-year-old Naomi, whose pregnancy was a surprise. The cubs' sire, Tomo, underwent a vasectomy in 2018 because his genes are strongly represented within the African Lion Species Survival Program population, according to the zoo.

After the procedure, he rejoined the zoo’s five lionesses in the Heart of Africa, zoo officials said.

Tomo was euthanized in May at the age of 15 after his quality of life rapidly diminished due to age-related issues, the press release said.

Photos of the cubs were not readily available, zoo officials said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com
@ThisWeekGary