lion cubs

African Lion Cubs

Ask a Keeper

Makini has joined Tajiri and the lion cubs on exhibit! Ask lead keeper Kay Buffamonte your questions, and she'll answer them in a series of Instagram videos we'll share the week of December 15.

Our four African lion cubs have debuted!

Born to four-year-old female Tajiri and five-year-old male Makini, two of the cubs were born on June 25 and two were born on  June 26 at the Zoo’s First Niagara Big Cat Falls. They are the first lion cubs born at Philadelphia Zoo since 1996. 

The Zoo enlisted the help of visitors and social media followers to name the lion cubs. Through a series of four naming contests on the Zoo’s website—one for each cub—the public cast votes for their favorite names. The winning names are:

  • Mali
  • Kataba
  • Sabi
  • Msinga

You can tell them apart by their dye marks: Kataba currently has marks on the right front paw, Mali has no dye marks, Msinga has a mark on the left front paw, and Sabi has a mark on a hind paw. The dye marks fade over time and must be reapplied regularly, so this can change on occasion.

The whole pride is now on exhibit in First Niagara Big Cat Falls. You can also find more photos of them on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Watch them grow

Get an up-close view of the lion cubs by becoming a member and visiting free for a year, among other great perks.