Newborn Liuon cubs are the 'mane' attraction at ZSL London Zoo
Zoo’s first lion cubs for a decade make their debut Photocall: Thursday 13th August 2009 Time: 9.20am for 9.30am photocall. Location: Meet at East Service Gate, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
[UKPRwire, Wed Aug 12 2009] For the first time in 10 years two Asian lion cubs have been born at ZSL London Zoo.
The furry youngsters will be making a public appearance in their outside paddock this Thursday.
The 10-week-old male and female lions are the first cubs to be born to the Zoo’s very own love-cats Abi, 10, and Lucifer, six.
Lucifer’s two little devils are already developing their own personalities with the mischievous male cub proving more adventurous than his daintier sister. Keepers have even witnessed them playing tug of war over food – like any other brother and sister!
There are less than 300 Asian lions in the wild and they are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature. The cubs are a welcome addition to ZSL London Zoo, which is part of the European Breeding Programme for lions.
Lioness Abi was the last cub to be born at the Zoo in 1999 and the new mother has taken quite a shine to her playful pair.
Madeleine Gordon, a keeper at the Zoo said: “We’re thrilled about the arrival of the cubs. It’s lovely to see that Abi is making such a good mother. They are amazing to watch and are becoming quite the family unit.”
Visitors to the Zoo this summer can expect to see the two youngsters enjoying rough and tumble as they make the most of their moated enclosure.
Photographers /film crews are invited to come into the Zoo on Thursday for the cubs public debut.
Viewing will be across the lions’ moat, with no obstructions. A long lens may be required.
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The Society runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide. For further information please visit www.zsl.org
Asian lions once ranged from Greece, across the Middle East to India, but persecution has virtually wiped it out. Now fewer than 300 remain in the wild and captive breeding is key to their survival. They live in the Gir Forest, NW India. They have smaller manes than African lions, making the ears more visible. They also have a pronounced fold of skin along the belly and thicker hair on the tail and elbows. Unlike African lions, male and female Asian lions seldom associate except to mate.Their typical prey is chital deer, but they also attack livestock which brings them into conflict with local people.They are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature.
ZSL London Zoo is open from 10.00am to 6.00pm during the summer months. Prices are £18.50 (including donations) if you’re 16+ and £15.00 for children, under 3’s go free. For further information please visit www.zsl.org