Media Advisory: Lion Cubs at Smithsonian's National Zoo to Make Debut in Yard and Receive Names

Press conference for lion cub debut and revealing of names (press credentials required)

Saturday, Dec. 18
11:50 a.m. (arrive at exhibit no later than 11:45 a.m.)

National Zoo Great Cats Exhibit
Lion/Tiger Hill
3001 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
(Park in Parking Lot D at the bottom of the Zoo)

Dennis Kelly, director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Craig Saffoe, curator, National Zoo’s Great Cats Exhibit
Local contestants from the public naming contest

The National Zoo will reveal the names of its seven lion cubs Saturday, Dec. 18, at 11:50 a.m. The cubs will then make their debut in the yard (weather permitting). The cubs’ names were determined from various sources, including a public naming contest, the lion keepers and Zoo supporters; local contestants from the naming contest will be in attendance. To date, one male cub has been formally named—Aslan, after the lion in the Chronicles of Narnia movies and book series by C.S. Lewis.

The seven cubs were born in two litters this year: The first on Aug. 31 to female lion Shera and the second on Sept. 22 to her sister, Nababiep. Both litters were sired by Luke. The pride of 10 lions is the result of years of careful research and observation. Starting on Dec. 20, lion keepers will decide on a day-to-day basis whether the cubs will spend time in the yard, where visitors can see them, depending on the weather. The cubs’ time in the yard will be limited as they adjust to their new environment.

Please note: The safety of its animals is paramount to the Zoo. Viewing of the cubs in the yard at the press conference will depend both on the weather and the lions themselves.