PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania - An African lion born at the Tulsa Zoo in 2009 is making his public debut Wednesday at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Zuba, who is now known as Makini, was transferred to the Philadelphia Zoo late last year in hopes of establishing another pride at that zoo's big cat exhibit.

Zuba and Thabo were the first lion cubs born at the Tulsa Zoo in 16 years.

Thabo was transferred to the Memphis Zoo in early 2010 to help with that zoo's breeding program.

Their parents, Chatari and Kofi, remain at the Tulsa Zoo.

Makini means "dignity" in Swahili.  He will turn three in March.

A Tulsa Zoo spokeswoman said the transfers are part of the Species Survival Plan or SSP. 

Zoos across the U.S. take part in the program to keep the African Lion population from shrinking.