BALTIMORE, MD — Luke, Leia and Zuri, the lion cubs at The Maryland Zoo, are growing by leaps and bounds under the care and supervision of the Animal Department staff at the Zoo.

Here is an update on their condition:

  • Zuri, from Zoo Miami, cleared quarantine a few weeks ago and is healthy and strong.
  • Luke weighs almost 45 pounds while Zuri and Leia are slightly smaller at 40 pounds.
  • They each eat 3 pounds of meat a day.
  • Their personalities are quite distinct:
    • Luke is cautious and more easily startled than the two girls.
    • Leia is bold, taking the lead when presented with new play items.
    • Zuri is more observant, assessing the situation and the other cubs’ reactions before deciding what to do next.
  • Luke tends to rotate between playing with Leia and then with Zuri. Leia and Zuri get along with one another, but don’t often play together.
  • As they have grown, so have their claws and teeth! Animal care staff have less physical interaction with the cubs, and are managing their care through protective barriers as necessary.
  • The cubs spend much of their awake time playing with various objects. This play time is very important to their growth as they are learning skills they will use as adults including stalking and pouncing.
  • Animal care staff have been “baby-proofing” the lion exhibit with additional safety features to ensure that the cubs aren’t at risk when it is time for them to explore their outdoor habitat.
  • Due to the continuing frigid winter weather, the cubs will remain in their den until there are consistently warmer temperatures.

While the cubs can see and hear adult lions Cuma and Hassan in their indoor dens, they have not yet been physically introduced to one another. Cuma and Hassan are out on exhibit together daily, weather permitting.

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