Singapore: In a first of its kind in the city-state, the Singapore Zoo has welcomed Simba, a lion cub to its animal kingdom following artificial insemination, the officials said on Tuesday.
Conceiving of lions through artificial insemination is rare and the first procedure was carried out successfully in 2018 resulting in two cubs in South Africa.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the lion populations in the wild have plummeted more than 40 per cent over the past two decades, with about 23,000 to 39,000 mature animals left. The IUCN has also listed lions as vulnerable.
Named after the main character in Disney's "The Lion King", Singapore's new cub, Simba was conceived with the semen from an elderly African lion.
However his father Mufasa, whose name is also taken from the animated film did not survive the procedure due to his poor health, the zoo said.
Simba, who was born in October, is now being cared for by his mother Kayla and zookeepers, and is "healthy and inquisitive", the officials said.