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Dallas Zoo sent Disney video of this cub to inspire Simba’s ‘Lion King’ moves

If you’re watching the new “The Lion King” at the movie theater this weekend, you just might catch glimpses of a lion cub from the Dallas Zoo.

The zoo sent Disney animators video of 1-month-old Bahati Moja to help them animate Simba’s motions and behavior, a Facebook post said.

“From walking on wobbly new legs, to licking milk droplets off of her face, we captured every moment, no matter how small,” the zoo said on Facebook.

Simba and Bahati might have more than animations in common, though. Like Simba, Bahati went through her own challenges growing up at the Dallas Zoo.

Bahati, whose name means “the lucky one” in Swahili, was the first lion cub born at the zoo in 43 years, according to the zoo’s website. A team of professionals had to perform a C-section on Bahati’s mom, Lina, during the birth in 2017, zoo officials say. Lina has “a narrow pelvic canal and small hips,” resulting in two stillborn cubs in a pregnancy before Bahati was born, the website says.

But Bahati was strong immediately after birth and soon grew up to be a playful cub — even pouncing at her dad’s tail and mane, the zoo said. Her dad, Kamau, was loving but stern in helping to raise Bahati, the zoo said.

Perhaps, like Mufasa and Simba, right?

“Let us know if you see any bit of baby Bahati in Simba,” the zoo said on Facebook.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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