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Photos: Lion cubs, baby Komodo dragons are fruits of Denver Zoo matchmaking labor

This week's cover story, "Beauty of the Beasts," delves into the world of animal sex -- and explains how zookeepers carefully match captive animals to ensure that future generations are healthy and sustainable (read: not inbred). The Denver Zoo is home to the official matchmakers for all African lions and all Komodo dragons in the 222 zoos that belong to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. As professional Cupids, it's their job to oversee the creation of effing adorable baby lions and less-fluffy-but-still-pretty-cute baby dragons. See photos below!

Baby Komodo dragons!
Baby Komodo dragons!
Denver Zoo
Adult Komodo dragon, Castor, who has, uh, participated in successful breedings.
Adult Komodo dragon, Castor, who has, uh, participated in successful breedings.
Denver Zoo

Continue to see photos of baby lions!

 

Lions -- and mates! -- Sabi and Sango. (Sango has the beginnings of a mane.) Sabi came to the Denver Zoo from Qatar and is considered valuable for breeding purposes because she's unrelated to most lions in captivity in the United States.
Lions -- and mates! -- Sabi and Sango. (Sango has the beginnings of a mane.) Sabi came to the Denver Zoo from Qatar and is considered valuable for breeding purposes because she's unrelated to most lions in captivity in the United States.
Denver Zoo
Sabi and Sango could learn a lot from lion Krueger, pictured here with one of his three mates. Krueger died of cancer last year, but he first sired all seven cubs born at the Denver Zoo's Predator Ridge exhibit.
Sabi and Sango could learn a lot from lion Krueger, pictured here with one of his three mates. Krueger died of cancer last year, but he first sired all seven cubs born at the Denver Zoo's Predator Ridge exhibit.
Denver Zoo
Krueger had two litters with lioness Baby, pictured here with one of their cubs.
Krueger had two litters with lioness Baby, pictured here with one of their cubs.
Denver Zoo

Continue to see more baby lion photos!

 

"Hey, Mom!"
"Hey, Mom!"
Denver Zoo
Another shot of Krueger and one of his mates. Post-coitus, perhaps?
Another shot of Krueger and one of his mates. Post-coitus, perhaps?
Denver Zoo

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Hormones turn Groucho, the Peyton Manning of Denver Zoo elephants, into Richard Sherman."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com


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