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Fort Worth Zoo welcomes Moja, its first African lion cub in nine years

He’s the cat’s paw-jamas.

A zoo in Texas welcomed its first African lion cub in nine years, and he’s been “pouncing and playing” with his proud mom.

The Fort Worth Zoo opened its hearts to bouncing baby boy Moja, who was born to first-time mother Saba and father Jabulani on Oct. 20, 2023, the park announced this week.

The little one, whose moniker is pronounced “mow-jah” and means “one” in Swahili, weighed just 2.7 pounds at four days old but now is up to 16 pounds, the zoo said.

As of now, Moja is not on view to the public, since zookeepers are making sure he’s strong enough to navigate his new surroundings.

“This little guy is learning what play means and can usually be found pouncing and playing with mom. We are so excited about this little one and can’t wait for you to meet him soon!” Fort Worth Zoo wrote on Instagram.


Moja “is learning what play means and can usually be found pouncing and playing with mom,” the zoo said. Facebook/Fort Worth Zoo

The Forth Worth Zoo opened its hearts to Moja, who was born on Oct. 20 to first-time mother Saba and father Jabulani.
The Forth Worth Zoo welcomed Moja, an African lion, in October, its first cub since 2015. Facebook/Fort Worth Zoo

His parents, Saba and Jabulani, were brought to the zoo in 2012, after being born at a South African wildlife facility.

Along with a third lion, Abagabe, the trio introduced a new bloodline of lions into North America and helped to vary its gene pool, the zoo said.

African lions are considered a vulnerable population, so the infant’s birth is looked upon as a milestone in the conservation of the endangered mammals and an advancement in diversifying the nation’s African lion bloodline, zoo officials told CBS Texas.

“The main threats to African lions are human-wildlife conflict and natural prey decline, as well as habitat loss, climate change and wildlife trade,” the World Wildlife Fund explained on its website. “With around 23,000 African lions left in the wild, they’re now officially classified as ‘vulnerable.’”

Written by SaleemBaloch

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