Baby Lions at National Zoo Learn to Swim

by Rebecca on October 30, 2010

in Animal Pictures,Animal Videos,Animals in the News,Cute Animal Pictures

The cubs are all around eight weeks old, but The Washington Post reports that in a few more weeks they will be too large and potentially dangerous to be handled by their keepers. Before the cubs are moved to the larger lion quarters, which has a moat that gets as deep as nine feet, zoo officials need to be sure they have no problems in the water.

Although lions are born with the ability to swim, zoo officials want to make sure each of the cubs are comfortable with the water to be certain any future incidents are prevented. In the case of these four juvenile cats, everyone passed the test — though some were certainly more unhappy with the sopping situation than others.

A young lion cub tries to swim in the moat surrounding the lion habitat at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo on October 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. The staff at the zoo is conducting swim tests on four cubs, placing the cubs one at a time into the water, to ensure that the cubs can safely maneuver the moat before they are let out into the yard with their mother later this year. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Lion keeper Leigh Pitsko removes a dripping eight-week-old lion cub from the exhibit after the cub passed a swim test at the National Zoo in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. The test was to make sure the four cubs will be safe around the water feature when they are put on public display, which is expected to take place in late December. Lion keepers say that the test was very successful. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Below is a video of their first day in the pool — you’ll notice cub number 4, a female,  enjoys swimming so much, she doesn’t want to get out….

For more pictures see: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GreatCats/LionUpdates/Sheracubswimtest.cfm


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