Teen Lion Cubs Looking for Own Place

The National Zoo's male cubs will be getting their own bachelor pad soon.

31 photos
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
You have just a few more weeks to see all members of the National Zoo’s lion pride together. Keepers are prepping to separate the young males (Baruti, John and Aslan, age 1 1/2) from their parents and sisters.
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Smithsonian Institution
Keepers will be watching the young-uns' social interactions, and looking for territorial markings and other cues that suggest the bachelors are ready for their own set-up.
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Smithsonian Institution
Once in their own place, they'll probably just stay up late, ordering pizzas and playing video games. Ah, to be young.
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Smithsonian Institution
Remember when they were still this tiny? Now the National Zoo's cubs have celebrated their first birthday with bloodsicles (ewwww), while we look back fondly on a year and a half of cuteness....
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John Hancock
The cubs were born in two litters, four on Aug. 31, 2010 to lion mom Shera, and three more on Sept. 22, 2010 to Shera's sister, Nababiep. All seven cubs have the same father, Luke.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
During the second litter's first checkup, vets checked the cubs' mouths and eyes, listened to their hearts and lungs, and felt their bellies. The babies are still too young for shots. (Smart move, babies!)
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News4 I-Team
You can see pics from their older sibs' first vet visit here.
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Smithsonian Institution
The cubs weren't allowed out for the first few months. First they had to pass a swim test, since their stately residence is surrounded by a moat.
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Smithsonian Institution
All the cubs passed their swim tests with flying colors (and maximum cuteness).
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
You cannot get these in the zoo's gift shop. Trust us, we tried.
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Smithsonian Institution
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Paul Parmalee/WHYY
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Getty Images
The first lion cub to be named was Aslan, after the lion in "The Chronicles of Narnia." Actors Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes from the movie series visited the zoo for the naming ceremony.
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Getty Images
By that point, Aslan wasn't looking so tiny anymore!
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Smithsonian Institution
We believe this is known as "rawr." Or, excuse us, "RAWR!"
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Smithsonian Institution
Branches: Edible?
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
The cubs were introduced to their dad Dec. 29, 2010. He... tolerated it well.
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When the army of cubs first arrived in the yard, Luke turned and headed up to the highest tier in the yard. Maybe he was a bit scared of the responsibility.
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Smithsonian's National Zoo
The seven cubs are the result of the zoo's "build a pride" program, which began when Luke, Naba and Shera arrived in October 2006.
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Smithsonian's National Zoo
Ugh! Kids today.
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Aslan led the pack in terms of getting a name, but the others soon followed: John, Fahari, Zuri, Lelie, Baruti and Lusaka.There WILL be a test on this later. Best of luck.
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Smithsonian Institution
The lion cubs celebrated their first birthday in September 2011, with presents, and, um... bloodsicles.
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Smithsonian Institution
See? Bloodsicle.
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
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Smithsonian Institution
They do grow up so fast.
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