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Two Lion Cubs to Make Debut Friday at National Zoo

The cubs were born Jan. 24.

These two female lion cubs were born Jan. 24 at the National Zoo; they've passed a swim test and are ready to explore the Great Cats exhibit. National Zoo photo
These two female lion cubs were born Jan. 24 at the National Zoo; they've passed a swim test and are ready to explore the Great Cats exhibit. National Zoo photo
Two female lion cubs born at the National Zoo in January will make their public debut Friday, according to a news release from the zoo.

The two cubs successfully passed a swim test last month the zookeepers gave them.

Four younger lion cubs, who are 9 weeks old, will take a swim test on Tuesday. During the test, the cubs must prove that they are capable of swimming, navigating toward shore and climbing from a moat onto dry land.

Animal care staff will place the cubs into the water and help guide the cubs toward land. By passing the test, the cubs will prove to the animal keepers that they are ready to safely explore their outdoor habitat.


The two cubs that will go on display on Friday were born Jan. 24 to the Zoo’s 10-year-old lion Nababiep. She gave birth to three cubs—two surviving—in an eight-hour period. These cubs are the third litter for Nababiep and the fourth for 8-year-old father, Luke.

The Great Cats exhibit on Lion/Tiger Hill features Sumatran tigers and African lions. Lions and tigers are on exhibit between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., daily (weather permitting).

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