If Lion King can be believed, lions live rich interpersonal lives full of drama and strong familial bonds. While that might not be true to the degree Disney portrays it, this video shows that it is partially true.
After six months of growing up with their mom, Kamali, Zalika, and Angalia finally got to spend some outdoor time with their dad, Zawadi Mungu. While he looked after the little ones, Neka, the mom of the cubs, took a much-needed break.
Several months ago, Oregon Zoo introduced the female lions Neka and Kya. “They’re all around the same age,” said the zoo curator Jennifer Davis. “That made it easier for them to bond and become a unified pride. We’re happy there was a strong connection between Neka and Zawadi.”
That strong connection led to Neka and Zawadi coming together to have these three cubs. Now, Laura Weiner, Oregon Zoo’s lead Africa Keeper felt ready to introduce the father lion to his babies.
“We were confident that Zawadi would be tolerant of his cubs right away, and we’re glad we were right because the cubs rushed him as soon as they saw him,” said Laura. “I think all of that attention must have been overwhelming because he quickly jumped onto a boulder.”
Zawadi wasted no time making sure his three cubs knew he was the boss, baring his teeth when they got too close. But the cubs were not discouraged. Whenever one would step away, the other two would step into place to get their dad’s attention.
What an adorable family reunion between these four lions. Watch these three young lions get to know their dad for the first time. It may not be an animated classic, but this is still worth watching!