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Meet Tobias: Buffalo Zoo names male African lion cub


Tue, May 24th 2016 06:20 pm

The Buffalo Zoo announces Tobias as the official name of nearly three-month-old male African lion cub.

On April 27, the Buffalo Zoo revealed the birth of a male lion cub to first-time parents Lelie and Tiberius. At the time of the announcement, it was still uncertain what the cub would be called, or the process by which the Buffalo Zoo would eventually name him.

In the case of this cub, the first in 25 years, the husbandry and overall care took a personal turn for Tobias' caregivers, led by Alicia DuBrava, lead big cats keeper. As the cub of a first-time lioness mother who had difficulty with successful nursing, Tobias was trained early to accept feedings through the holding area protective mesh. His continued growth and positive health checks are testament to this successful approach, which enabled bonding with his mother while satisfying his nutritional needs.

At close to 20 pounds and nearly 3 months old, however, it is understandable that the keeper staff began to call him by something: That something being the name Tobias.

When discussions occurred surrounding an official public name, it became clear that the entire Buffalo Zoo team had embraced this name for him and has decided to keep it.

The name has no particular significance other than his cute little toes (toe-bias), which the keepers look forward to growing as big and strong as his parents.

DuBrava said, "While it is not uncommon to have a public and completely different behind-the-scenes name, we are hopeful that the public will embrace this name, particularly when considering his cute nickname, Toby. We hope they will be pleased."

Efforts continue to acquaint Tobias with the rest of the lion pride, and planning has started for his introduction to the outdoor yard as a precursor to his eventual public debut. The Buffalo Zoo will continue to keep the public informed of progress at all levels.

The Buffalo Zoo is located at 300 Parkside Ave.

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