Thursday, October 13, 2011


We (meaning BB) are on a Jungle Book kick lately, and so I've been calling BB "man-cub" here and there, because it's adorable and he's wild and my boys deserve good nicknames. But this post is about my other man-cub, the littlest cub. And some other cubs too.

A current Tucson attraction are three new lion cubs at the zoo, just placed on exhibit on September 27th. We took our little family to meet them last week, going first thing in the morning to see them at their most active. We got there at just the right time and got to see the three little cubs romping and rolling with each other, and we even got to see the Mama lion, Kaya, pick up one of the cubs by his scruff with her mouth!

The Mama lion with her cubs (they are a little hard to spot)

But the best part of meeting the lion cubs was when I noticed this sign on the exhibit window:

These cubs were born here in Tucson on July 28th, just the day before SS!
When I realized that SS and these three cubs were nearly exactly the same age, I was moved. I immediately pictured watching these cubs grow over the years, comparing their growth and changes with SS's development, and someday being able to tell SS that he shares something special with them, that these are his lions.

With my eyes full of tears, I remarked to the docents standing outside the exhibit that my son was born just the day after the cubs. The docents were delighted and asked SS's name. When I told them, they said, "He's an 'A' too!" Because do you know what those lion cubs' names are?
Ayotunde, Azizi, and Abuto.
All 'A' names. Just like SS.
Even more magic.

In and out of the Ergo carrier

Of course, some of the magic dissolved when the docents told me that the cubs will be moved to other zoos once they turn two, so that the genetics are mixed up and the lion cubs have a chance to start their own families (I learned that the siblings know instinctively not to mate with each other, it's called "sibling syndrome"). It makes sense, but I was sad to hear that we will have to say goodbye to SS's lion-brothers after just two years (although as the mom of a strong-willed two-year-old, I think Kaya might be onto something...just kidding :) ) and that we won't be able to follow them their whole lives like I had fantasized (granted, for a whole 90 seconds). Who knows though, maybe our zoo will wind up keeping one! Either way, me and J and our man-cubs will enjoy watching SS's lion cubs grow and change with him over the next two years.

1 comment:

  1. Awww! Looks like trips to a few other zoos is in the future! We love those little cubs too- I'm sad to hear they'll be moved in a few years!