Great Cat News
The Lion Cubs are Turning 1
February 19, 2015
January 24 and March 2 mark our African lion cubs first birthdays! Animal keepers Kristen Clark and Rebecca Stites reveal what's new with the cubs in the latest Q&A!
Bandar and Sukacita are Growing Up Fast
December 17, 2014
Keepers Marie Magnuson and Dell Guglielmo, along with curator Craig Saffoe, talk about training, separating from mom Damai, and the possibility of new cubs in the latest Q & A.
Lion Cub Training
October 20, 2014
The six lion cubs at the Great Cats Exhibit are growing fast and their husbandry training sessions are in full swing! Parents Luke, Naba and Shera have their paws full with the rambunctious cubs—but it's our animal care team's challenge to care for the entire pride.
Tiger Cubs Turn One
July 28, 2014
The Great Cats exhibit is celebrating two very special birthdays on August 5: Sumatran tigers Bandar and Sukacita are turning one year old!
Visit the Lion Cubs
July 1, 2014
Shera's four cubs have made their big debut at the Great Cats exhibit! The cubs have already passed several milestones (the swim test, meeting dad, and so on). Next on their agenda is to be named!
Tiger Cubs Feeding Update
April 25, 2014
Read about the tiger cubs diet. In their native habitat, a Sumatran tiger mother and her cubs would eat their prey together as a group. To align our tiger's experience with those of their wild cousins, keepers also feed Damai, Bandar, and Sukacita as one group. They receive about 77 pounds of meat each week (about 11 pounds per day).
Watch a Tiger Enrichment Video
March 6, 2014
The Washington, D.C. winter weather has been particularly cold and snowy this year. On days where it’s too cold to go outside, we give the cubs a few enrichment items to play with indoors to keep them active and engaged.
Lion Cubs Born March 2
March 4, 2014
African lion Shera gave birth to a litter of 4 at the Great Cats exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. These cubs are the second litter for Shera and the fifth for 8-year-old father, Luke. Recently, Luke also sired 10-year-old Nababiep's two female cubs born on January 24
Bandar and Sukacita Begin Training
January 30, 2014
Bandar and Sukacita have started basic training—shifting inside when called and teaching them to eat on their own and become less dependent on mom. We haven't observed nursing for some time now, so we are almost certain they're weaned off Damai's milk.
Lion Cubs Born January 24
January 27, 2014
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Great Cats team celebrated the arrival of its first litter of African lion cubs in four years.
Tiger Updates from 2013
Read all the 2013 updates on our tigers here. The past year has been filled with a lot of tiger progress involving the tiger cubs Bandar and Sukacita.
Lion Archives from 2012
2012 brought many changes to the Great Cat Hill! Naba and Shera's cubs turned 2, Zuri and Fahari went to the San Diego Zoo, and Aslan and Baruti headed to the Calgary Zoo.
Tiger Archives from 2012
Read all the updates on our tigers here. 2012 brought many changes to our tiger habitat, including saying goodby to Guntar who was going to Japan and introducing Damai to her first winter.
Fishing Cat Kittens Explore Their Yard
August 23, 2012
Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Zoo can now see its three-month-old fishing cat kittens exploring, playing, climbing and fishing on Asia Trail.
Twin Fishing Cats Born at the National Zoo—a First
June 13, 2012
The Smithsonian's National Zoo is closer to cracking the code for breeding one of Asia's most elusive species with the birth of two fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus). Seven-year-old Electra delivered the kittens between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. May 18 in an off-exhibit den. Their birth marks an important milestone: this is the first time fishing cats have successfully bred and produced young at the National Zoo.