Shyly peeking out from the shelter and safety of their den, four rare newborn Asiatic lions had their first glimpse of the British sunshine as excited staff at Paignton Zoo in Devon unveiled their new mane attraction.
The cute cubs, born on May 15, stayed close to their proud mum Indu as they took in the sights of the Devonshire outdoors.
The zoo kept the arrival under wraps until the cubs had survived the critical first weeks of their lives.
The newborn cubs peer out of their den at Paignton Zoo where they were born in May as part of an endangered species programme
Roarsome: the shaggy siblings stick together as they step into the sun
Indu will mother her babies until they are at least a year old, before they are sent to other zoos as part of an endangered species programme.
Keepers are keeping their distance for now to allow the family to bond, so it will be a while before they can announce the sex of each cub.
The zoo’s operations director and curator of mammals Neil Bemment said: ‘We have been letting her get on with being a new mum – so far she seems to be doing really well.
‘We are cautiously excited. if she is successful then it will be thanks to a lot of care and attention from the keepers. It is very good news for the species.’
Mother’s pride: The rare cubs have made it through the critical first weeks of life and are sure to be the MANE attraction when they are revealed to the public
A tentative tail first! Asiatic lions are notoriously shy and Paignton Zoo’s latest arrivals were reluctant to leave the safety of the den where they were born