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PHOTOS: Lion Cubs Born At Jacksonville Zoo

There are three new reasons to visit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens after a lioness named Tamu gave birth to cubs.

The cubs—two boys and one girl-- were born September 10. It’s third litter for Tamu, 7, and the first for father, Catali, 8. Thursday morning the cubs received their first checkup.

Mammal keeper Toni Piccolotti expects the new additions to be a popular attraction. “People that come to the zoo love babies,” she said. “Cat babies in particular, so just getting the word out that we have lion cubs here I’m sure is going to be really great for the zoo there will be a lot of people coming to see these babies.”

Tamu’s two previous litters were both single cubs, and the first cub did not survive. The second cub, Gigi, was reared by the zoo’s staff because Tamu would not nurse her. Gigi is now 2-years-old and was transferred to the Denver Zoo Thursday morning.

Tamu has taken a different route with her new cubs; she has been nursing, grooming and protecting her cubs as a lioness should.

“We knew the third time around she would be a much better mom, especially if she had more than one cub and she’s been a perfect mom this time around,” Piccolotti said.

The cubs are currently not on exhibit, but there is a video monitor for visitors to see Tamu and her cubs.