To date, there are only approximately 20,000 lions left on Earth, and in 26 African countries, lions are now considered extinct. Just in the past couple of decades the lion population has been cut almost in half. Although we consider lions to be the king of the jungle, the sad reality is, their species is continuing to disappear at a rapid rate.
So, when Denver Zoo welcomed a new lion cub into the world on July 25, 2019, you bet that everyone was thrilled. The newly-born cub, who was named Tatu, was not only celebrated because of his adorable appearance but because he’d be helping to expand the lion kingdom, which is quickly dwindling away.
Since the little lion was born to his parents, Neliah and Tobias, the zoo had been posting pictures and video clips of him on social media, you know, doing what cubs do best: playing and curiously exploring the world around him. Thus far, the public has been watching Baby Tatu grow from a tiny kitty to a playful cub over the past three months, but now that he was big enough, the zoo will be introducing the little guy to his father, Tobias.
According to the Denver Zoo in the description of the video of the father-son meet-and-greet posted on Facebook, “This week’s Tatu #cubdate comes with some exciting news: the cub has met his dad, Tobias, and big sister Kamara! Already 12 lbs, this little lion is climbing up the ranks in the world – as in he literally loves climbing everything and that includes Aunt Sabi and Kamara!”
In the short but sweet video footage, Tobias, who’s several times larger than his tiny cub, has his arms stretched out to get a close face-to-face look at his creation. In response, Tatu simply stares at his father, almost as if he’s thinking, “Hey, I think I know you somehow!”
Although we only get a short clip of Tobias and Tatu’s first time meeting one another, we know it had to be a special moment for both the son and the father. No matter the species, it’s always emotional getting to meet the life that you created and vice versa.
“He’s beautiful! I love the meetings of his family members, especially his Daddy! Play bow!” says one commenter.