National Zoo’s Lion Cubs Pass Swim Test

Photo credit: Jen Zoon, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
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LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — All four of the National Zoo’s youngest African lion cubs passed their swim test Tuesday.
Three male cubs and one female cub were born to 9-year-old Shera on March 2. All cats born at the Great Cats exhibit must take the test before they go on exhibit.

“As keepers, it’s our duty to take every precaution to ensure the cubs’ survival,” says Kristen Clark, an animal keeper at the zoo.

“It’s possible that a cub could be playing around and get knocked into the moat by a parent or sibling. We want to make sure that if they find themselves in that situation, they know how to pull themselves out of the water and onto shore.”

The 10-week-old brothers and sister will make their public debut in mid-June once all vaccinations have been administered. You can watch them anytime on the National Zoo website’s lion cams.