ST. LOUIS • The staff at the St. Louis Zoo is hand-raising two newborn lion cubs because their mother, Cabara, has failed to produce enough milk to feed them.

Two other cubs in the litter have died.

“In the wild, it is not uncommon for lion mothers to rear fewer than 50 percent of the cubs born in a litter,” says Steve Bircher, curator of mammals/carnivores at the St. Louis Zoo. “The cubs are growing rapidly and appear to be healthy.”

The cubs were born on Feb. 14. The surviving cubs, named Mtai and Serafina, are now eating some meat as well as bottled formula.

Imani, an 8-month-old female cub born to Cabara in 2011, also was hand-reared but was successfully reintroduced to her parents several months ago. The other cub in that litter was stillborn.

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