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Adorable Additions: First Lion Cubs Born At The Maryland Zoo Thriving

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Bui Linh 370x278 XL (2) Linh Bui
Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a reporter/weekend...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) –They are about to become the stars of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Two lion cubs were born in the fall, and now WJZ has exclusive access to the adorable additions. We’re kicking off an exciting contest. You can help name them!

Linh Bui has an update on their health and fills us in on their budding personalities.

Right now the cubs don’t have names, so zookeepers are referring to them as “brother” and “sister.” Although they’re siblings, they have very different personalities!

At almost 20 pounds, the brother and sister are growing fast. They’re the first lion cubs in the Maryland Zoo’s history — an exciting accomplishment.

“It’s gonna be a big draw for everyone to come in and see them,” said Carey Ricciardone, Maryland Zoo mammal collection and conservation manager.

The kings of the jungle don’t sound like it yet.

Dad is still at the zoo, but sadly, mom died from birth complications. She had four cubs, but only two survived. Now they’re thriving in the round-the-clock care of zookeepers.

Only WJZ got an opportunity to enter the lion’s den at the Maryland Zoo to meet the cubs born in October. We put on protective clothing so the cubs wouldn’t get sick.

Right now the cubs have weak immune systems.

“This is when their immune system kicks in, so we get a little more freedom and can get them outside,” said Erin Cantwell, manager, Maryland Zoo.

The cubs just had their two-month checkup. And there’s good news: they’re healthy and doing fine!

“They also get vaccines,” Cantwell said. “It allows us to get bloodwork on them and just to make sure that, overall, their health is where we want it to be. And they are both doing great.”

Zookeepers have been weaning the cubs off bottles and started feeding them meat.

At first, they were curious about their visitors, and then they quickly warmed up.

“They’re just more and more active, more playful. When they were first born, they mostly just ate and slept. And now we’re starting to see more personality from them,” Ricciardone said.

“Brother” is a gentle giant.

“He’s not as brave as the female. He’s a little more laid back. He’s a little quiet. A little sleepy,” Cantwell said.

“Sister” is the boss.

“She’s fiery! She’s really entertaining. She’s always the first one to investigate stuff. She’s always the one to start the fights between the two of them,” Cantwell said.

They’ve got the looks and the charm. It’s no surprise people are already going wild for them.

It’s too cold for the cubs to be outside right now. Hopefully the public will be able to see them sometime in the spring.

The cubs are doing great, but they still need names. You can help pick them out! Click here to see what each name means, then make your choice.

Related Link: More Information About The Lion Cubs From The Maryland Zoo

Related Link: Vote For Your Favorite Name

Related Link: Maryland Zoo’s Facebook Page

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