Two five-month-old African Lion cubs at Great Britain’s Linton Zoo recently enjoyed outdoor playtime with their mom and dad.
The cubs, a male and a female, were born September 30 to parents Safina and Zuri. As you can see from the photos, the energetic cubs keep mom and dad busy playing and snuggling. Of course, so much play can wear out the little cubs, so they take naps several times a day.
As the cubs grow, interacting with their parents and each other through play helps to hone their survival skills. Because Lions live in social groups called prides, it’s important for cubs to learn Lion etiquette so they can succeed as adults. So far, Safina and Zuri are proving to be excellent parents.
The cubs have not yet been named, but the zoo plans to hold a naming contest in conjunction with Lion Guardians, an Africa-based conservation organization, this spring.
African Lions are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to habitat loss and persecution in non-protected areas. The population is believed to have fallen by up to 50% in the last 50 to 60 years. Many conservation organizations are working to protect the remaining Lions in eastern and southern Africa, and zoo breeding programs aim to maximize genetic diversity in the captive population.
See more photos of the cubs below.