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Watching the two little lion cubs boisterously play with each other at a conservation center outside of South Africa's capital Pretoria, it's hard to see anything out of the ordinary.Its scientists are researching the reproductive system of female African lions.The two cubs, a male and female, born on Aug. 25, are healthy and normal, said Andre Ganswindt, director of the University of Pretoria's mammal research institute."We collected sperm from a healthy lion," Ganswindt told AFP.Then when the lioness' hormone levels were found to be viable, she was inseminated artificially.Lions are extinct in 26 African countries and numbers in the wild have plummeted 43 percent over the last two decades, with roughly only 20,000 left, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which lists the African lion as vulnerable.
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