Watching a little one bond with their father is heartwarming, to say the least. And this goes for more than just humans.
Adorable parent-child bonding moments take place in the animal kingdom as well – just like it did one day in the Oregon Zoo.
In a video that’s gone viral, three girl cubs play outdoors with their lion dad for the very first time. Let’s just say it’s a scene that’s enjoyable to watch!
Kamali, Zalika and Angalia were six months old when they went on their first outside adventure with their father, Zawadi Mungu. Their mother, Neka, comes to check on the cubs once in the video but mostly leaves the four alone for some bonding time.
Mom Neka had been taking care of her babies since they were born. So, she understandably deserved a break!
Laura Weiner, Oregon Zoo’s lead Africa Keeper stated “we were confident that Zawadi would be tolerant of his cubs right away, and we’re glad we were right because the cubs rushed him as soon as they saw him … I think all of that attention must have been overwhelming because he quickly jumped onto a boulder.”
Zawadi jumping away onto that boulder did not stop his three cubs. They all made their way onto the boulder and kept trying to get their father’s attention! Zawadi tries to bare his teeth multiple times but that does not scare any of them away for too long.
When one cub backs away, another goes in to get their father’s attention!
Zawadi and Neka, along with another female lion named Kya, were brought to the Oregon Zoo from for the purpose of cooperative breeding more. Kamili, Zalika and Angalia are three lion cubs born from Zawadi for this purpose.
The cubs were the first litter for their mama.
The three adult lions bonded very quickly after arriving at the Oregon Zoo. Jennifer Davis, a curator from the Oregon Zoo, had made a previous statement about the three lions after their arrival.
“They’re all around the same age,” Davis said. “That made it easier for them to bond and become a unified pride. We’re happy there was a strong connection between Neka and Zawadi.”
The two became a set of very proud parents.
The lion cubs have had very individual and distinct personalities from a young age, so they were given names to match their personalities. Angalia has always been a feisty cub, so she was named after the Swahili word for “look out.”All the workers knew they would have to look out for her!
Zalika is the Swahili word for “well-born” and was given her name to reference her father. Kamali is the smallest cub and had health issues following her birth. So, she was given the name Kamali, which comes from the Shona people in Zimbabwe and surrounding nations, which is to indicate a spirit that protects babies.
Surely these little girl cubs will have their daddy wrapped around their fingers.
It’s easy to see that they’d all love some of his attention – so Zawadi better be prepared to be one busy papa! Aren’t they one adorable family?
Press play on the video below to see their first outing together for yourself!
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