Animals

This Lion Greeting His 5-Week-Old Cub Will Melt Your Heart

Official alert from the Emergency Cuteness Network! This is just too sweet.

This is not a test. This is an official alert of the Emergency Cuteness Network: A recent video of a papa lion saying hello to his new cub displays critical levels of adorability. Please prepare your eyeballs accordingly.

The clip, shared by the lions’ team at the Denver Zoo, shows the then-5-week-old African lion cub at play in an indoor facility. The yet-to-be-named baby boy clambers over tiny obstacles, plays with toys and gets a special greeting from his dad, Tobias.

“Already 12 pounds, this little lion is climbing up the ranks in the world — as in he literally loves climbing everything and that includes Aunt Sabi and [half-sister] Kamara!” says the zoo’s Facebook post.

The huge lion stretching his paws forward and bringing his nose down to his cub’s level is just such a sweet moment. Tobias seems right at home with being a dad!

But wait! There’s more! So much more — the zoo’s been going wild sharing pics and video of the happy lion family. Here’s a photo of Baby Boy with big sis Kamala in a quieter moment:

Here’s another video “cubdate” on his progress at the 4-week mark, noting that he’d started to play with toys this week:

The zoo is putting the baby’s name to a vote. Zoo guests can choose Meru, Moremi or Tatu when they visit, or you can vote online for your favorite name after donating a dollar.

It’s hard to tell if dad Tobias has a pick, but he sure is gorgeous in this snap of him with his newborn son. He almost looks like he’s got a proud little smile:

My 2-year-old and I visited the Denver Zoo earlier this week, and we can confirm that the little guy, now 9 weeks old, is breathtakingly cute. On our visit, he lounged in an outdoor viewing area with his fam, enjoying the autumn sunshine and stretching out for a nap.

While he relaxed with the females, including mom Neliah, Tobias kept close watch on the group, seeming very proud of, well, his pride. According to a zoo press release, Meru/Moremi/Tatu is Tobias’s first cub ever — he was moved to Denver in 2018 in hopes that he’d breed. Success!

Now 9 weeks old, the cub is his own attraction at the zoo. On our visit, my daughter and I waited in line for at least 10 minutes to catch a glimpse of the little guy. The vibe was very “Lion King,” except it was a bunch of humans clamoring to see the newborn.

Congratulations to Neliah, Tobias and the whole pride at the zoo! For the road, here’s the zoo’s most recent snap of the little dude:

He’s growing so fast!