Lion cubs make public debut at National Zoo Friday

The National Zoo's four young lion cubs will make their public debut Friday. (Photo: Abby Wood/Smithsonian)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The National Zoo's four new lion cubs will make their public debut Friday at noon in the Great Cats Exhibit.

Born March 2 to mother Shera and father Luke, the 14-week-old cubs passed their swim test in May and have received all their vaccinations, the zoo said Friday.

They will join their mother, aunt Nababiep, and two female half-siblings on exhibit, weather permitting. The cubs will receive their names in the coming weeks; at the moment, animal care staff identify the cubs by unique shave marks on their hips and shoulders.

For the past seven weeks, zoo keepers have been helping the cubs, their mothers and Luke get accustomed to each other, they said.

"Thus far, all lions have showed interested in one another and their interactions have been positive during those meetings," said the zoo's statement. "Eventually, the entire pride will be outside in the yard together."