Lion cubs from an endangered subspecies are born at London Zoo

Three lion cubs from an endangered subspecies have been born at London Zoo and staff are 'over the moon'.

Born to parents seven-year-old mother Arya and 14-year-old father Bhanu, the litter of Asiatic lion cubs are yet to be named.

The pair are kept at London Zoo as part of their international conservation breeding programme, which includes protecting an important back-up population of the big cats.

Staff at the zoo are elated at the new additions as there are only around 600 of the species left in the wild, according to the zoo's website.

Asiatic lions originate from India but became endangered after being hunted.

They eat large and small animals, including deem, antelope and wild boar, according to the zoo.

London Zoo's head big cat keeper, Kathryn Sanders, said: 'We are over the moon to be able to share the amazing news that we've had three endangered Asiatic lion cubs born at London Zoo.

'When the wild population is thought to be just 600 to 700 individuals, adding three to that number is a significant increase.

'Arya is proving to be a doting mum to her three cubs, and we've been able to observe some heartwarming moments via our hidden cubcam - from their first feed to their first steps.

'They're getting stronger every day and we're delighted with their progress.'

Footage of the birth was captured by the zoo's cubcam, which showed the cubs' being licked clean by their mother and then experiencing their first suckle.

Zookeepers have continued to monitor the cubs' progress, including their first wobbly steps.

So far, the cubs have remained inside their custom-built cubbing den, but they might begin to venture outside as the weather gets warmer.