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TULSA, OK -- Two African Lion cubs are the Tulsa Zoo's newest residents.

In an announcement Tuesday afternoon, Tulsa Zoo officials said these are the first cubs born to mother, Shatari and father, Kofi.  Both mom and dad reside at the Tulsa Zoo.

The zoo's seven-year-old lioness gave birth by cesarean surgery to the two male cubs on March 24th.

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Both cubs weighed three pounds at birth and have been hand raised in the Tulsa Zoo's veterinary hospital.

Tulsa Zoo staff veterinarian Dr. Kay Backues says the cubs "are progressing well," and now weigh more than 12 pounds each.

Tulsa Zoo guests will have an opportunity to view the new additions when they go on public exhibit by the end of May.

"We wanted to give them adequate time to have their immune systems develop and start their vaccine series before they are exhibited to the public," said Dr. Backues.

Tulsa Zoo officials say this birth was the result of a planned and recommended breeding by the Species Survival Plan.

"This birth is a significant advance in the conservation of a vulnerable species, said Terrie Correll, Tulsa Zoo Director, "our entire community can take pride in knowing that Tulsa contributed to the continuation of such an awe-inspiring animal."

The Tulsa Zoo expects to keep the cubs for "two or three years," said Dunn, or until their transfer is recommended.