Lion cubs make media debut at Reid Park Zoo

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's unusual for a female lion have to three cubs the first time she gives birth. But that's exactly what Kiya did at the Reid Park Zoo and Tuesday was the first time the new babies were shown off to the media.

For a brief second the three newest editions at Reid Park Zoo held still for the cameras.

Say hello to the baby boys and girl.

"Three cubs born about 5 weeks ago, one female two males," said Reid Park Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Alexis Moreno.

It's the first time anyone outside the Reid park staff has gotten a look at the baby cubs.

"They were born very healthy and mom is doing a great job bringing them up so we haven't had to intervene at all," said Dr. Moreno.

They're still about two weeks away from being seen by the general public. But so far everything has been right on schedule for the threesome.

"We weigh them on Tuesdays and Fridays of every week and with every weight check they continue to gain.  So that's exactly what we want to see, just like newborn human baby," said Dr. Moreno.

And even though they look soft and cuddly, trainers and vets still use a fair amount of caution when handling them.

"Being careful with them, doing oral examines and their feet and claws.  So that's why you see me looking in their mouth every time.  So they get used to people being around their mouths," said Moreno.

The cubs remain around mom in their cub den. Soon they'll be joined by dad and then shown off for everyone to see.

"Obviously, in the wild they are pride animals, so they live as a family.  And we'd like to establish that here if we can,"

The cubs weigh almost 15 pounds each.

The trainers expect to weigh them for another couple months before they get to too big to do so.