Lion cub with health conditions makes outdoor debut at Lincoln Park Zoo

A cub at Lincoln Park Zoo who has been experiencing health conditions since birth will be visible outdoors along with the rest of the pride starting Thursday. 

The zoo has held extensive testing over the last week that has ruled out many possible explanations for the cub, Lomelok’s, mobility concerns. 

The latest results suggest Lomelok was born with a narrowing of the channels that carry nerves from the spinal cord. 

As a result, the nerves are compressed which is contributing to his mobility challenges. The cub's young age suggests that surgery is not an appropriate option at this time, according to Lincoln Park Zoo. 


Veterinary teams will continue to monitor him around the clock. Their main focus is ensuring Lomelok is comfortable, but also that he gets to be a typical curious, playful lion cub.

Lincoln Park Zoo says supporting Lomelok’s psychological well-being is just as important as supporting his physical health. 

The zoo says it will continue giving the pride the opportunity to be together and have him continue learning how to be a lion through social interactions with his siblings, the rest of the pride and the outdoor habitat.