10/02/2015 03:14 EDT | Updated 10/02/2015 03:59 EDT

Toronto Zoo Announces Birth Of 4 Lion Cubs

It's been a big week for the Toronto Zoo.

Two days after announcing that giant panda Er Shun is expecting twins, zoo officials revealed that four-year-old white lion Makali has given birth to four rare white lion cubs.

According to a press release for the zoo, the first cub was born at 10:35 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, followed by a second at 11:17 p.m. The next day at 4:15 a.m. Makali gave birth to a third cub. The fourth cub was born shortly after at 6:40 a.m.

Zoo keepers first suspected Makali was pregnant on Sept. 15 and was immediately moved to the maternity ward for 24-hour care. This is the first litter for Makali and four-year-old Fintan, who is the father of the cubs.

The global white lion population has declined by 20 per cent in the past two decades. According to animal trust White Lions Homeland, wild white lions are a major target for hunters and farmers who tend to shoot or poison the animals to protect their livestock.

Makali and her cubs are expected to remain out of the public eye in the maternity ward of the lion habitat for another six to eight weeks, the zoo revealed via Facebook.

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