Three lion cubs made their unofficial public debut Tuesday at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.
The still yet unnamed trio of females had their first chance to explore the outdoor surroundings when they were introduced to their habitat Monday. They made an appearance during zoo hours Tuesday.
"The wait is almost over: Thabisa and her three cubs have begun adventuring outside," the zoo said in a video of the cubs posted to Facebook on Tuesday morning. "Just like any new baby these cubs are getting familiar with new sights, sounds, and smells while exploring this new area. Our keepers are making sure that this introduction process progresses when the cubs are ready and displaying confident behaviors in their new habitat."
Riverbanks is allowing the public to have input into naming the girls as the staff has a list of suggested names that will be posted on the zoo's website. You can view the names and vote for your favorites at riverbanks.org.
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The cubs were born to the lioness Thabisa in mid-April. They were the first litter of cubs born at the Columbia zoo since June 2008.
John Davis, director of animal care and welfare at Riverbanks, said at the time that Thabisa was bonding well with the cubs and everything was going as it should.
The sisters were slowly introduced to their father, Zuri, and will now be a part of the Riverbanks Zoo pride until they become eligible for recommendation in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Active Species Survival Plan in about two years. At that time, the cubs could remain at Riverbanks or be transferred to another zoo for breeding purposes.