Lioness and First-Time Mom Celebrates Mother's Day With Her Two Newborn Cubs at Denver Zoo

A lioness at the Denver Zoo celebrated her first Mother's Day on Sunday with her two playful cubs.

Kamara, 4, spent the day licking and snuggling with the cubs, a male and female, who were born on April 23. The cubs have yet to be named, according to the zoo.

The young African lions already have big personalities: a video posted on Facebook by the Denver Zoo shows the duo exploring their surroundings, testing their growls, and playing with each other.

Kamara and the cubs will stay behind the scenes for about two months to bond before the cubs are introduced to the rest of the Denver Zoo's lion pride: dad Tobias, 4, an unrelated female, Sabi, 7, Kamara’s mom, Neliah, 7, and their half-brother Tatu, who was born to Neliah and Tobias last July.

"She [Kamara] learned a lot by watching Neliah and interacting with Tatu last year, which really prepared her to be a mom,"  Matt Lenyo, the zoo's assistant curator of predators, said in a press release. "We’re seeing a lot of positive signs that things are going well, and will continue to keep a close eye on her and the cubs in these critical first days and weeks."

Births like these are especially welcome news, as African lions are a vulnerable species facing constant threats from poaching, loss of prey, and habitat destruction. Half of Africa's lions have disappeared in the past 25 years, the zoo noted in their press release.

Kamara's cubs are the latest in a flurry of zoo births throughout the country, including red wolf pups at the North Carolina Zoo, a baby gorilla at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and clouded leopard kittens at the Miami Zoo.

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