By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The stars of the Maryland Zoo finally meet their adoring fans. This weekend, thousands came out for a first look at the zoo’s three precious lion cubs. WJZ has been following their progress very closely.

Linh Bui has their big public debut.

The weather was finally warm enough this weekend for the cubs to go on exhibit, and they were definitely a hit with the crowd.

The crowd gathered–cameras and cell phones ready to finally catch a glimpse of Luke, Leia and Zuri.

“What did we come to see? The lions!” said Ed McGowan, zoo visitor.

In October, Luke and Leia became the first lion cubs ever born at the Maryland Zoo. Dad is still here, but sadly, mom died from birth complications. Zuri joined them from the Miami Zoo after her brothers died.

Saturday, it was a happy milestone as the lion cubs made their public debut.

“They came out and were a little hesitant about being in the outer world. All the snow has melted nicely, which was good for them. And they did really well. They explored quite a bit,” said Mike McClure, general curator, Maryland Zoo.

The cubs took in their surroundings, relaxed in the shade and played around. Their personalities were on full display. Luke is the timid one.

“He is a little shier than the other two. A little less bold. Leia is definitely the bold one of the bunch,” said Margaret Innes, assistant curator, Maryland Zoo. “Zuri is very intelligent and very curious, but she tends to think things through a little bit before acting.

Luke and Leia have grown a lot since WJZ got exclusive access to the cubs in December. They’ve doubled in size–from about 20 pounds to more than 40.

Their Star Wars inspired names are the result of WJZ’s naming contest. We’ve closely tracked their progress for you.

Now you can go wild for the cubs when you see them in person.

The cubs were on display for less than an hour, but we’re told they were very tired afterwards.

You can see the cubs on Sunday! Luke, Leia and Zuri will be on display from 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

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