On March 15th, 2016, three lion cubs were born in the Leningradsky Zoo in St Petersburg. The parents are lions Adam and Tasya, and the babies were born in captivity. It is the first time in more than 20 years that baby lions were born in St Petersburg, and the local community is really excited!
The babies are a male and two females. The mother is behaving very overprotective, taking good care of the new-borns. And so does the father! His behavior has changed reasonably, and now he is kept in a different enclosure. The babies are not on display right now, their enclosure is closed for visitors in order not to disturb the mother, but you can still see the proud father!
Traditionally it is the citizens of St Petersburg who choose names for the babies born in the Zoo. Every Zoo has an animal, which is its symbol. In Leningradsky Zoo it is a polar bear. Why so? Because already starting from 1930’s polar bears constantly gave birth to babies in captivity.
The pair of bears who now live in the Zoo are called Uslada and Menshikov. They first had babies in 1994, and not so long ago on 6 December 2014, another baby polar bear was born. More than 500 notes with different variants of names came to the Zoo, but eventually Zabava was chosen. First, it sounds very mush the name of the mother, and it corresponded well to the personality of the animal (“Zabava” in Russian means “amusement”, “fun”). Altogether Uslada and Menshikov have had 16 babies so far, which is a big number for a bear family.
Leningradsky Zoo is also a historical and cultural center. It was founded in 1865 and still preserves the original layout; that is why it is an essential part of the city and the city’s architectural ensemble. During its rather long history the Zoo was closed only once in the time of the scariest winter of 1941-1942 when the city of Leningrad was besieged by the Nazis.
Nowadays the Zoo is open throughout the year with more than 600 species living there. The Zoo organizes different events like feeding the animals, tours of the Zoo and games and entertainments for children.
So take your chance, come to St Petersburg! Who knows, maybe for the next new-born baby they will choose the name you have thought of!