Heart-Melting Lion Cub Gets Majestic “Narnia” Name

Stars of "The Chronicles of Narnia" help name a National Zoo lion cub.

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One of the seven famous lion cubs at the National Zoo was christened with an even more famous name Thursday.
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Actors Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes from "The Chronicles of Narnia" movie series visited the zoo for the naming ceremony.
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One of the three cubs born Sept. 22 was named Aslan, after the lion voiced by actor Liam Neeson in the series.
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Seven cubs have been born at the zoo this year.
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Also Thursday, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media gave a monetary gift to the zoo’s great-cat conservation, research and public education.
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“We are grateful to 20th Century Fox and Walden Media for their generosity and proud to name one of our cubs after the character in the beloved books by C.S. Lewis,” Zoo Director Dennis Kelly said. “The fictional Aslan is wise, fearless and regal. The real-life Aslan will play a key role in conservation as an ambassador for his species.”
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The cubs didn't make an appearance at the event, but Henley and Keynes got to meet Aslan backstage.
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They said the cubs are adorable, with heads that are a little too big for their bodies.
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It will take four years for Aslan's mane to fully grow, but it will start showing up after he turns 1, zookeepers said.
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This year's two litters of lion cubs followed years of research and observation and were the first at the zoo in more than 20 years, according to the National Zoo.
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“We are very excited to be a part of this very special event,” said Henley. “The fictional Aslan and his world have been such an important part of our lives for the past several years.”
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“It’s wonderful to see how he’s inspired these important conservation efforts,” Keynes said.
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The lion cubs are slated to make their public debut later this month, if the weather cooperates.
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An online naming contest online will allow people to vote on names for two other cubs.
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The latest in the "Narnia" series -- "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" -- opens Friday.
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