Meet the Adorable Cub that Was the Model for Baby Simba in the 'Lion King' Remake

Does Bahati look familiar?

Those who have seen the technically stunning and wildly successful The Lion King remake with Donald Glover and Beyoncé, might recognize the Dallas Zoo lion.

According to the Texas zoo, Bahati, a female lion, was used as model for baby Simba in the remake of the Disney classic.

“When Bahati was just a month old, we provided Disney with video of her movements for their animation team to use for motion and behavior reference when designing Simba in The Lion King,” the zoo shared on Facebook.

From Bahati’s first steps to her mealtimes with mom, Disney was sent oodles of cute footage of the little lion cub. It’s hard not to be inspired by something so sweet.

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Bahati isn’t so little anymore. While most of the footage the zoo sent to Disney shows Bahati as a month-old cub, the formerly tiny lion is now a fully-grown, two-and-a-half-year-old lioness.

Adoring fans can meet the bewhiskered face behind Disney’s new Simba at the Dallas Zoo’s lion exhibit.


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