It's sextuplets! Pebbels, a lion at a Las Vegas-area zoo, has delivered six cubs, a rarity, and visitors could get a peek at the new arrivals as early as this weekend.
Keith Evans, owner of Lion Habitat Ranch in suburban Henderson, Nev., made the delightful discovery Wednesday when he went to clean Pebbels' cage.
"I'm thrilled that she's got that many," he said, "and that they all survived."
Large litters are unusual.
"It's a record for the United States, as far as I can tell," Evans told me.
A lioness kept as a pet in Pakistan made news about a week ago when she delivered five babies.
It's uncertain how soon the six cubs will be on display for visitors to coo and ahh over. If Pebbels cooperates, Evans hopes to put a Plexiglas front on the her bed box, where the cubs are, this weekend.
If that doesn't work out, the sextuplets probably won't be available for public viewing until mid-April.
"They're all clean and dry and happy," Evans said.
And quiet, which is a good sign. "They're not making noise so we know that they're getting fed. Otherwise, they'd be screaming."
Lion Habitat Ranch opens at 11 a.m. and takes its last admission about 2:30 p.m. Fridays-Mondays, including Easter. Admission is $25 per adult and that includes one child 4-14. Extra children 4 and older are $10 each.
Info: Lion Habitat Ranch