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Lion News Archive

Mar. 01, 2018
Visitors to the Great Cats exhibit may have noticed that 12-year-old African lion Luke has had an on-again, off-again limp. Over the past year, the Smithsonian's National Zoo's animal care team has be... read more
African Lion
Apr. 14, 2017
Sometimes, even top predators need a leg up in order to survive. The recent boom in Kenya’s human population prompted people to sprawl and build their homes on the Savannah. As a result, increased... read more
Dec. 28, 2015
For the first time in this pride, Zoo veterinarians have successfully drawn blood from a lion—a juvenile male named Jumbe—while he was awake. Keeper Rebecca Stites reveals what this means for the heal... read more
Nov. 01, 2015
A mystery: African lions are breeding, but they’re not producing cubs. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute science sleuths are on the case! Their goal: to determine the cause of the cub “bust”... read more
Male lion showing dark long mane
May. 27, 2015
What does it take to keep up with a sextuplet of juvenile African lions? In the latest Keeper Q & A, Rebecca Stites and Kristen Clark dish on the cats' quirky personalities, training triumphs, and... read more
Feb. 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! How have the cubs' personal... read more
Oct. 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 i... read more
Sep. 15, 2014
Watch the latest from "Wild Inside the National Zoo." Video
Jul. 01, 2014
On Father's Day weekend, Shera's four cubs made their big debut at the Great Cats exhibit! Now, visitors can see the whole pride every day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weather permitting. Animal keeper... read more
Jun. 13, 2014
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 Luk... read more
May. 06, 2014
Four African lion cubs took a brisk paddle today and passed their swim reliability test. The cubs—three males and one female—were born at the Zoo March 2. All cubs born at the Great Cats exhibit must... read more
Apr. 30, 2014
The lion cubs are all doing quite well! Naba's girls weigh about 30 pounds now, and Shera's cubs range from 19 to 20.5 pounds. Shera's cub that had the limp is showing great improvement. His limp is v... read more
Apr. 24, 2014
This update was written by animal keeper Kristen Clark. Today, the cubs met face-to-face with Luke for the first time! Introductions are always tense the first time you do them, but we always try t... read more
Apr. 16, 2014
We have an animal care update from our Great Cats team. Last week, one of our African lion cubs—a male born to Shera and Luke—had not gained as much weight as expected and was exhibiting s... read more
Apr. 10, 2014
Last week, keepers started introductions between Shera and Naba's cubs! Keepers watch these interactions closely in the event that the cubs need to be separated. Fortunately, everyone has been getting... read more
Mar. 07, 2014
Today, Nababeip's two cubs received their second routine veterinary exam. At almost a month and a half old, they weigh between 16 and 17 pounds. They both got a clean bill of health! Keepers also had... read more
Mar. 04, 2014
March came in like a lion—four lions, to be exact— as 9-year-old African lion Shera gave birth to a litter at the Great Cats exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Their delivery March 2 spanned a... read more
black and white photo of cubs in enclosure
Mar. 04, 2014
March came in like a lion—four lions, to be exact—9-year-old African lion Shera gave birth to a litter at the Great Cats exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Their delivery March 2 spanned a sev... read more
Feb. 20, 2014
We want to let you know that for the immediate future all lion cub cams will be going offline. The good news is, when they come back online, we hope it's to give you a look at new lion cubs! Shera's d... read more
Feb. 11, 2014
Healthy and well fed! That was the ruling animal care staff gave to Nababiep's two-and-a-half-week-old cubs during their first veterinary exam yesterday. The complete physical involved listening to th... read more
Feb. 06, 2014
A few days ago, African lion mother Naba spent some time away from her cubs and enjoyed a special oxtail treat with her sister Shera. Keepers took the opportunity to get their first in-person look at... read more
Jan. 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. On Jan. 24, the Zoo's 10-year-old lion Nababiep gave birth to three cubs... read more
Mar. 14, 2013
By Budhan Pukazhenthi, SCBI Scientist The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species, often considered the world authority on wildlife populations, lists A... read more
Jan. 15, 2013
Things in the lion house have been fairly quiet this winter. When temps drop to freezing, we usually let the lions decide where they want to play throughout the day. With the colder air moving into DC... read more
Oct. 15, 2012
Last week, we bid a bittersweet farewell to Zuri and Fahari, as they left for their new home at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Their new keepers traveled to DC to meet the girls and accompanied them during th... read more