Moment endangered lion cubs take their first steps outside at London Zoo

London Zoo’s three Asiatic lion cubs have been pictured taking their first steps outside with mother Arya.

The 8-week-old cubs appeared tentative at first, looking to mum for reassurance, but were soon spotted skipping around their Indian-inspired habitat, chasing each other and playing with mum’s tail.

Parents Arya and Bhanu are kept at London Zoo as part of their international conservation breeding programme, which includes protecting an important backup population of the big cats.

The cubs - who are yet to be named - were born on 13 March 2024.

Surviving only in the Gir Forest in Gujarat, India, their wild population is particularly vulnerable to disease or natural disaster.