Smithsonian National Zoo biologist Leigh Pitsko releases a male lion cub for its swim test in the zoo habitat moat, in Washington May 6, 2014.
Gary Cameron/Reuters

Watch: African lion cubs go swimming

Attention animal lovers: the National Zoo has an important announcement!

The 10-week-old African lion cubs have passed their swimming test, putting them one step closer to making their public debut.


On Tuesday, the three male and one female cubs kept their heads above water, climbed onto dry land, and navigated their way to the shallow end of the moat as they set out to pass their first swim test.

“It’s possible that a cub could be playing around and get knocked into the moat by a parent or sibling,” said Kristen Clark, an animal keeper at the Great Cats exhibit. “We want to make sure that if they find themselves in that situation, they know how to pull themselves out of the water and onto shore.”

While these four cubs, who were born March 2, will not make their public debut until June, the two other cubs, who were born in January and already passed their swim test in April, will go on exhibit to the public this weekend. 

The Cycle, 5/6/14, 4:23 PM ET

African lion cub takes swim test

Four 9-week old African lion cubs take a swim reliability test prior to their public debut in June. Following the test, two 14-week old lion cubs ventured into a nearby exhibit.


Watch: African lion cubs go swimming