Three captive African lion cubs survive on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

XINING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Three six-month-old captive African lions have survived the extreme environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a new record for those breeding the species on the plateau, according to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Wild Zoo that bred the animals.

"The three female cubs, two of them being twins, were born on May 9," said Qi Xinzhang, deputy director of the zoo. "They are fed with milk powder mixed with egg yolk and calcium gluconate. Now, the cubs, each with an average weight of 20 kg, are able to hunt for food by themselves."

According to experts, the successful breeding of captive African lions will provide significant guidance for what wild African animals need to survive on the plateau, helping to introduce more wildlife to the region.

As the biggest feline species in Africa and known as the "King of the Beast", the African lion was listed as a species vulnerable to extinction in 2008 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Wild Zoo, based in Xining, northwestern China's Qinghai province, is a 4A-level scenic spot with over 3,000 animals of more than 127 species. China's only existing captive snow leopard was also born here.