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ATLANTA -- Zoo Atlanta welcomed more baby animals this week. Kiki, a 9-year-old African lioness, gave birth Wednesday to four cubs. Thursday the zoo released the first pictures of the cub.

PHOTOS | Awww! Cute babies at Zoo Atlanta

"It's been more than five years since we've seen African lion cubs at Zoo Atlanta," zoo president and CEO Raymond B. King said in a statement. "We couldn't be more delighted about finishing an extraordinary year for zoo babies on such an exciting high note."

It is the second litter for Kiki and male lion Kamau. They had three cubs in 2008; those lions now live at Africam Safari in Puebla, Mexico.

King said lion cubs are born blind and usually stay with their mothers until they are about 18 months old.

The cubs join a high-profile string of zoo babies in 2013, including twin panda brothers, an eastern black rhinoceros, two gorillas and two orangutans -- a Bornean and a Sumatran.