Mountain lion cubs born at Wildlife World Zoo

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(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)

Wildlife World Zoo announced the birth of two mountain lion cubs early Friday morning. Visitors can come out and view the native newborns on display inside Wildlife World Zoo's baby animal nursery.

Kristy Morcom, director of media relations at Wildlife World Zoo, says the cubs require round-the-clock care and are still being bottle-fed. Over the next few weeks, meat will slowly be introduced in their diet. 

[RELATED: Wildilfe World Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe]

Unlike the typical buff colored adults, baby mountain lions are camouflaged with dark spots that fade during their first year. Female mountain lions weigh an average of 100 pounds and males are significantly larger, weighing up to 180 pounds.

Morcom said unlike the African lion, the mountain lion is a solitary creature, except during breeding season and males do not play an active role in raising the young.

Mountain lions are some of the most adaptable animals in the Western Hemisphere. They are able to adapt to almost any type of habitat from desert scrub, to swamps and grasslands, to mountain forest. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Critter Corner]

Historically, mountain lions could be found anywhere from the East Coast to the West Coast and as north as Alaska and south as the southern tip of South America. However, due to the rapid growth of modernization during the past century, there has been significant habitat loss and a decline in prey.

This has caused the mountain lion population to dramatically decrease. Other than a small mountain lion population found in Florida, this large predator was nearly eliminated from the eastern United States.

[READ MORE: Arizona’s first sea lion pup born at Wildlife World Zoo]

Due to the mountain lion's diversity, local names for the mountain lion vary depending on the region they are in. In the English language, the mountain lion is known by over 40 different names, such as the puma, cougar and panther. 

Given the declining population and elusive nature of these large predators, visiting the mountain lion cubs at Wildlife World Zoo is a great way for guests and school children to learn the importance of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and to learn about the wildlife that can be found in our own backyards. 

Other babies on display include Austin, the reticulated giraffe, Arizona’s first marine mammal, Sunny the Sea Lion, black swans, javelina, wallaby, several hoofed animal species, including llamas, gazelle, African blue duikers, and oryx, a variety of primate species, and other youngsters throughout the 100-acre park.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park. Open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays. Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Last zoo admission is at 4:30 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission includes access to the Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.  

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