JACKSON - Three New Jersey lion cubs are being cared for by some adoptive parents - the veterinary team at Six Flags Great Adventure.
A 2-month-old cub born to a first-time mother and two 5-week-old cubs were born in the Jackson facility. Dr. Kenneth Keiffer says one of the 5-week-old cubs was in distress soon after birth and doctors were forced to intervene.
The cubs have to be bottle-fed every 3 hours when they are first born and Six Flags staff members have to stay overnight to care for them.
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Keiffer says it's difficult to be away from family, but that the opportunity is just one of the perks of the job. "Being able to raise these animals, taking care of them and ensuring that they live a full, healthy happy life is all worth it in the end," he says.
Staff members expect to have the cubs back out with the other animals on the safari at 8 months old, when they will weigh about 50 to 60 pounds. The lions will be full-grown at about 4 to 5 years old, and will weigh in at more than 500 pounds.
For more with the cubs and Dr. Keiffer, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.