PORTLAND A 6-year-old African lion at the Oregon Zoo gave birth to three healthy cubs Saturday night.

The cubs were born between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., according to zoo keepers. Neka, is a first-time mom and zoo officials said she is doing well in her maternity den where they are not on display.

They are doing excellent. We are so happy. She is being an amazing mom. She is taking such good care of them, she is nursing constantly, said Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the Africa exhibit at the zoo. We re keeping watch on them 24 hours a day on the cameras.

We re all delighted at the arrival of these cubs and very proud of Neka, curator Jennifer Davis said immediately after the birth.

Zoo veterinarians have not determined the genders of the cubs yet. They hope to find out in the next few days.

The cubs won't be able to venture out of the den, for public view, for another six to eight weeks.

Last Thursday, the zoo announced Neka was pregnant, but estimated Sept. 14 as her due date. Davis cautioned that this is Neka s first pregnancy, and the birth of a healthy litter of cubs was not a sure thing.

More: African lion to give birth soon at Oregon Zoo

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