Say hello to the Denver Zoo’s 18-pound bundle of energy, Tatu! The Denver Zoo shared a behind-the-scenes video of the lion cub born in July 2019 meeting his father!
Until recently, the cub and his mom, Neliah, could only see the other members of the pride — father Tobias, sister Kamara and aunt Sabi — through mesh, and keepers said the grownups were “obsessed with the cub.”
The video shared on September 6, 2019, showcases a lion cub playing around in its enclosure. While understandably, all the focus was on the tiny and adorable lion cub, but the moment shared between him and his father is absolutely heartwarming. When the lion met his baby cub for the first time, the father named Tobias crouched down in order to interact with his newborn son and this interaction won all the hearts over the internet.
Denver Zoo shared an adorable video showcasing a lion dad meeting his cub for the first time
Credit: Denver Zoo
“Already 12 lbs, this little lion is climbing up the ranks in the world – as in he literally loves climbing everything and that includes Aunt Sabi and Kamara!” zoo officials said.
In a conversation with BoredPanda, Denver Zoo representative, Jake Kubié, the director of communications said, “He’s spent the last couple months bonding with his mom (Neliah), dad (Tobias) and half-sister (Kamara) behind the scenes at Predator Ridge at Denver Zoo, and will soon make his big public debut in one of the outdoor habitats. He’s all the things you might expect of a lion cub: playful, curious, and energetic!”
The African lion population has been cut in half since Disney’s “The Lion King” was released 25 years ago.
“These lions really help us tell the important story of what is happening to lions in the wild,” said Hollie Colahan, Vice President for Animal Care at the zoo. “When people start to care, then they want to learn more and do more.”
Colahan hoped the birth of the baby boy cub would encourage more humans to grow their interest in the preservation and growth of the lion population.
Credit: Denver Zoo
This adorable video actually comes from a series of “cubdates” that the Denver Zoo posted in order to give people a fleeting glimpse of their latest lion cub. Seeing the public response, Jake said, “Everyone is extremely excited and anxious to pay him a visit once he makes his public debut. The weekly updates we’ve been posting to our social channels are met with an outpouring of “Ohhs” and “Ahhs.” [and] we’re doing our best to give everyone their cub fix while they wait to see him in person!”
The adorable video also showcased that the cub wanted to play with an older female lion, who isn’t actually his mother, but his half-sister. The Denver Zoo representative added, “It’s very important to remember that half of the African lions have disappeared in the last 25 years and face growing threats, such as poaching, loss of prey, and destruction of habitats in their native ranges. We hope that by seeing our little lion cub, people will be inspired and take action to help protect his wild counterparts and other wildlife around the world.”
Credit: Denver Zoo
The Denver Zoo also runs quite a few initiatives that operate and supports conservation programs at the zoo and also in four other countries. Not only do they encourage people to donate in order to help their cause, but they also ask people to take up volunteer work and partake educational programs. One such program is named “Adopt an Animal” which allows you to “adopt” one of the 4,300 animals at the Denver Zoo. While you might not get to bring the live version of the animal home, you will most definitely get a plush version of the animal you adopt.
You can watch the video below
Here’s how people on the internet reacted to the video
Here is Tatu all grown up now:
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And just like that Tatu has gotten so big! For our big little man, playtime is the priority. Tatu can most often be found wrestling with anyone who will let him—most of all dad Tobias. Keepers will tell you that Tatu thinks he’s really sneaky these days, but that’s still a skill he’s working on. #closedbutstillcaring #bringingthezootoyou