Those waiting to see the three new Buffalo Zoo lion cubs and learn their names won’t have to wait long.
News photographers were allowed to see the cubs Wednesday morning in advance of the public debut at 10 a.m. Saturday. Winners of the naming contest will be announced at 11 that morning.
So far, two cubs have been named by zookeepers and the lion exhibit’s sponsor, Roar Logistics. But, the last female cub’s name is still up for a vote. The options are LuLu (Loo-loo), Amirah (Ah-meer-ah) and Lelia (Lay-la).
Those wanting to take part in the name can click here to vote. The contest will close at 5 p.m. Friday.
So far, the zoo has received over 5,000 votes in the last three days.
The zoo has been wanting to showcase the cubs, but needed to wait until all the cubs were up-to-date on their vaccinations, said zoo president, Donna Fernandez.
“It’s been hard to contain our excitement,” she said.
Fernandez said the 3-month-old cubs have been drinking milk, starting to eat meat and learning to stay away from the moat – which separates the lions from the public.
The zoo has filled the moat with hay, just in case the cubs wander too far off the exhibit. However, the cubs seem to have good depth perception.
They also enjoy playing with each other, and their older brother, Tobias, and roughhousing with dad, Tiberius.
Mother Lusaka also frequently licks them clean and makes sure Tiberius doesn’t get too rough with the cubs.
Fernandez said that though the cubs are small now, they will grow quickly. By this time next year, the president said she expects the cubs to be full-grown.
“This is the cute phase for sure,” she said.