PHOTOS: Oregon Zoo Lion Cubs Venture Out With Dad For The First - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PHOTOS: Oregon Zoo Lion Cubs Venture Out With Dad For The First Time

Posted: Updated:
Zawadi Mungu, proud father of the pride, is now spending time with his cubs. Zawadi Mungu, proud father of the pride, is now spending time with his cubs.
PORTLAND, Ore. - MOBILE USERS CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW SLIDESHOW: http://bit.ly/1lDcie7

Zawadi Mungu, proud father of the pride, is now spending time with his cubs. He's a 500-pound mega-carnivore capable of pulling a buffalo to the ground, but Zawadi Mungu now plays a new role: cat toy.

Last week, the male lion ventured outside with his trio of energetic cubs for the first time, and demonstrated a remarkable tolerance for a flurry of pint-sized attacks on his mane, tail and patience. The cubs were first introduced to their dad in their indoor den a few days earlier.

"We were confident that Zawadi would be tolerant of his cubs right away, and we¹re glad we were right because the cubs rushed him as soon as they saw him," said Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo's Africa section.

At first he was surprised, but as time passed he grew more patient. A few days later, he was grooming them. Outside, the cubs were less bold in their initial approach, as Zawadi towered over them from the top of the Predators of the Serengeti habitat. The cubs' mother, Neka, and the pride's other female, Kya, were close by. Within minutes, he had five female lions swarming him, Weiner said. I think all of that attention must have been overwhelming because he quickly jumped onto a boulder.

A video from that first outdoor encounter shows Zawadi holding his place on the boulder as the cubs repeatedly shower him with attention. The pride has continued spending time together outdoors, where they've also shared meals. The cubs, now 10 times their birth weight, rarely nurse.

Keepers say lion cub Zalika, who had a mild temperament in her infancy, is especially playful with Zawadi, jumping on him and biting his mane.

Visitors can see the lion family together on most days above 45 degrees.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:21:59 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>
  • Spokane man missing after swimming at Palouse Falls

    Spokane man missing after swimming at Palouse Falls

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:15 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:15:37 GMT

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. - Franklin County Sheriff's deputies say a man from Spokane who went swimming at Palouse Falls Saturday evening got pulled into deeper water and did not surface. Deputies, fire crews, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue teams and Washington State Park Rangers responded to a call of a person who had gone into the water under Palouse Falls and had not surfaced around 5:30 p.m.

    >>

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. - Franklin County Sheriff's deputies say a man from Spokane who went swimming at Palouse Falls Saturday evening got pulled into deeper water and did not surface. Deputies, fire crews, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue teams and Washington State Park Rangers responded to a call of a person who had gone into the water under Palouse Falls and had not surfaced around 5:30 p.m.

    >>
  • Northport lodge trashed by Eastern Washington fraternity posing as WSU bird watchers

    Northport lodge trashed by Eastern Washington fraternity posing as WSU bird watchers

    Saturday, April 21 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-04-21 20:26:57 GMT

    NORTHPORT, Wash. - A 22-year-old Eastern Washington University student is facing charges after he organized a party for his fraternity at a Northport lodge that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage. When reserving the lodge, he told the owner it was to host a Washington State University bird watchers club. 

    >>

    NORTHPORT, Wash. - A 22-year-old Eastern Washington University student is facing charges after he organized a party for his fraternity at a Northport lodge that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage. When reserving the lodge, he told the owner it was to host a Washington State University bird watchers club. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Driver crashes into Fernan Lake

    Driver crashes into Fernan Lake

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:30 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:30:15 GMT
    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...>>
    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...>>
  • Neighbors on alert after warning about reports of dogs being stolen

    Neighbors on alert after warning about reports of dogs being stolen

    Sunday, April 22 2018 9:32 PM EDT2018-04-23 01:32:57 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - SCRAPS is reminding pet owners to keep an eye on their pets after they received reports of dogs being stolen from people’s backyards near Northwest Boulevard. Police have been contacted in these instances, and one woman who lives in Hillyard says it happened to her. Korinne Foote says her dog, Stitch, was in the yard on Saturday around 3 in the afternoon. She says a neighbor witnessed someone picking up the dog and putting it in her car. SCRAPS Korinne was re...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - SCRAPS is reminding pet owners to keep an eye on their pets after they received reports of dogs being stolen from people’s backyards near Northwest Boulevard. Police have been contacted in these instances, and one woman who lives in Hillyard says it happened to her. Korinne Foote says her dog, Stitch, was in the yard on Saturday around 3 in the afternoon. She says a neighbor witnessed someone picking up the dog and putting it in her car. SCRAPS Korinne was re...

    >>
  • Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:21:59 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>