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The Magnificent Seven Are Soon to Meet!

The National Zoo is making great progress with introductions between Shera and her cubs, Naba and her own cubs (born just 3 weeks after Shera's) and Luke, the father of all seven cubs. In recent weeks, keepers have been delicately observing how all three adult Lions interact with one another and the new arrivals. Naba spent some time away from her own babies to meet and even groom Shera's litter. The cubs' sire, Luke, is curious too. While still separate from the babies for their safety, he is able to visit them through a "howdy door" and his interest in the magnificent seven is a great sign. Below are recent pictures of Shera's quartet at 5 weeks old.

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Photo credits: National Zoo

See many more pics below the fold...

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According the zoo's lion keepers: "Naba, Shera, and Shera's cubs were together again for the second time this morning (Oct. 8th). Everything went well! Naba groomed the cubs again, and Luke, the cubs' father, saw Shera's cubs for the first time through the howdy door! He seemed interested, lingered for about 20 minutes, and got a head rub from Shera, which means she felt comfortable with him being so close. Two of the cubs went to the door to check him out."

"Our observations of all the cats' behavior will determine when we think everyone's ready to be together—when we'll let Luke in with the cubs. It won't be for a few weeks but stay tuned!"