The four youngest members of the African lion pride at the Smithsonian's National Zoo are making their public debut today at noon at the Great Cats Exhibit. Born March 2 to mother Shera and father Luke, the 14-week-old cubs passed their swim test in May and have received all their vaccinations. They will join their mother, aunt Nababiep, and two female half-siblings on exhibit weather permitting. The cubs will receive their names in the coming weeks; at the moment, animal care staff identify the cubs by unique shave marks on their hips and shoulders.
For the past seven weeks, keepers have conducted introductions between the cubs, their mothers, and Luke behind-the-scenes. Thus far, all lions have showed interested in one another and their interactions have been positive during those meetings. Eventually, the entire pride will be outside in the yard together. To follow the cubs' progress, check for news on the Zoo's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo