If there’s one way to win over the internet, sharing an adorable animal video is definitely in the top 3. Be it a cutesy puppy who’s just learning its first steps in the world or a floofy kitten doing something funny, moving images of little critters have a beloved and well-earned place on the worldwide web. And this video shared by the Denver Zoo certainly fits the criteria.
The video shared on September 6, 2019, showcases a lion cub playing around in its enclosure. Although the spotlight is obviously on the tiny lion baby, the moment shared between him and his lion daddy is the star of the footage. The two generations met for the first time and the big lion Tobias’ actions towards his small bean of a son as he crouched down to interact won over the internet immediately. Many praised this 2-year-old father for his gentle behavior.
Bored Panda has contacted Denver Zoo represenative and learned that the cub was born on July 25. “He’s spent the last couple months bonding with his mom (Neliah), dad (Tobias) and half-sister (Kamara) behind the scenes at Predator Ridge at Denver Zoo, and will soon make his big public debut in one of the outdoor habitats,” Jake Kubié, the director of communications revealed. “He’s all the things you might expect of a lion cub: playful, curious and energetic!”
The video comes from a series of “cubdates” that the Denver Zoo posts every other day to give people a glimpse at their newest lion cub who is yet to be named. In fact, the zoo is trying to involve the public to raise funds for lions in the zoo as well as in the wild by letting them pick a name. The final choices are the following: Meru, which is the name of a mountain in Tanzania, Moremi, which stands for the name of a game reserve in Botswana, and Tatu, which is the Swahili word for the number three (as the cub is Neliah’s third offspring). You can vote too by clicking here.
“Everyone is extremely excited and anxious to pay him a visit once he makes his public debut,” Jake commented on the public’s response to the adorable cub. “The weekly updates we’ve been posting to our social channels are met with an outpouring of “Ohhs” and “Ahhs.” [and] we’re doing our best to give everyone their cub fix while they wait to see him in person!”
The video also shows the baby cub playing with an older female lion which isn’t actually his mother, but his half-sister, the 4-year-old Kamara. “She is just the most attentive and affectionate older sister,” Denver Zoo’s Instagram account reported.
“It’s very important to remember that half of African lions have disappeared in the last 25 years and face growing threats, such as poaching, loss of prey and destruction of habitats in their native ranges” the Denver Zoo representative wanted to stress. “We hope that by seeing our little lion cub, people will be inspired and take action to help protect his wild counterparts and other wildlife around the world,” he added.
Denver Zoo runs many initiatives to operate conservation programs at the Zoo, in their community, region, and in four other countries around the world. They not only encourage people to donate to help their efforts, but also have educational programs as well as accept volunteer work. One of their initiatives is called “Adopt an Animal” which allows you to “adopt” one of the 4,300 animals at the Denver Zoo, with the possibility of bringing home a plush version of that animal! Pretty sweet!