MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Father’s Day was extra special at Zoo Miami Sunday. A group of lion cubs and the cubs’ mother were united with a male lion to create the first complete pride at the zoo.
The move was an historic one for the 35-year-old zoo. ‘This is the first time ever that we have been able to put an entire family of lions out together,” said Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill.
“Jabari,” the adult male lion got to play with “Kashifa” and her five cubs, “Saba,” “Bantu,” “Asani,” “Amirah,” and the adopted male, “Kwasi,” son of Kashifa’s late sister, “Asha”.
Click here to view pictures of them.
“So far it’s going as well, as good as we could hope for,” said Magill. “For us, it was serendipitous to have this on Father’s Day, hopefully it’s a lesson to all of us of what being a good father is, patience and tolerance and understanding that the woman runs the house.”
It’s not certain if Jabari is the father of the cubs but, according to zoo officials, it is possible because only he and his brother had access to her.
Sunday was not the first time the group has been together.
Zoo officials gradually introduced Jabari to Kashifa and her cubs for several hours over the past week.
Sunday’s debut proved the group is getting along.
“Every now and then you’ll see him try to go and smell a cub,” explained Magill during the introduction. ‘The neat thing is the cubs are getting bolder now, I’ve noticed the cubs approaching Jabari, jump on the back of his legs and stuff and Jabari is incredibly patient.”
Zoo officials said it is a good sign that the cubs will be fine as Kashifa will protect the cubs and Jabari backs off when she is upset.
“For us, it was serendipitous to have this on Father’s Day, hopefully it’s a lesson to all of us of what being a good father is, patience and tolerance and understanding that the woman runs the house,” Magill said.
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