MIAMI - Father's Day was extra special at Zoo Miami Sunday. A group of lion cubs and the cubs' mother were united with a male lion to create the first complete pride at the zoo, CBS Miami reported.
The move was a historic one for the 35-year-old zoo.
"This is the first time ever that we have been able to put an entire family of lions out together," said Zoo Miami's Ron Magill.
Jabari, the adult male lion, got to play with Kashifa and her five cubs, Saba, Bantu, Asani, Amirah, and the adopted male, Kwasi, son of Kashifa's late sister, Asha.
"So far it's going as well as we could hope for," said Magill.
It's not certain that Jabari is the father of the cubs but, zoo officials said only he and his brother had access to Kashifa.
Sunday was not the first time the group has been together. Zoo officials gradually introduced Jabari to Kashifa and her cubs for several hours over the past week.
Sunday's public debut proved the group is getting along.
"Every now and then you'll see him try to go and smell a cub," explained Magill during the introduction. "The neat thing is the cubs are getting bolder now. I've noticed the cubs approaching Jabari, jump on the back of his legs and stuff and Jabari is incredibly patient."
Magill said sometimes male lions will attack cubs. But there's a very promising sign for this lion family: Kashifa is protective of the cubs and Jabari backs off when she is upset.
"For us, it was serendipitous to have this on Father's Day," Magill said. "Hopefully it's a lesson to all of us of what being a good father is, patience and tolerance and understanding that the woman runs the house."