Dallas Zoo’s Bahati Was The Model For Baby Simba in “The Lion King” Remake

Dallas Zoo offers the largest zoological experience in Texas with thousands of animals under their care. The organization is committed to creating a better world for animals through conservation, education and research.

Recently, one of their female lions named Bahati, became an internet sensation after the zoo revealed that the cub was the model behind baby Simba in The Lion King live-action remake.

“BAHATI OR SIMBA?: The world’s most famous lion cub may have gotten some of his moves from our very own Bahati!” the Dallas Zoo wrote on Facebook. “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.”

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

Those who have seen the film with Donald Glover and Beyoncé, might recognize Bahati when she was still young. But the cub is not so little anymore. She’s now a fully-grown, two-and-a-half-year-old lioness.

The latest Lion King movie was released last week and has grossed $564 million worldwide, becoming the 7th highest-grossing film in 2019, according to Wikipedia.