Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

New den for 'orphaned' lion cubs

Four-and-a-half month old Asiatic lion cubs Kamran and Ketan play in their new home after being released in their enclosure for the first time for the public to see at Bristol Zoo Gardens .PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2013. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
Four-and-a-half month old Asiatic lion cubs Kamran and Ketan play in their new home (PA)
Jo Howard and her daughter Lily watch the lion cubs at Bristol Zoo Gardens (PA)
Kamran and Ketan at playafter being released in their enclosure for the first time for the public to see at Bristol Zoo Gardens (PA)
A video camera is a new feature at the lion enclosure (PA)
Kamran and Ketan enjoy their new surroundings (PA)

A pair of lion cubs who lost their father and were disowned by their mother have bounced back to become the pride of the zoo.

Rare Asiatic lion cubs Kamran and Ketan delighted visitors when they were allowed out to play in their new enclosure for the first time.

Born at Bristol Zoo last year, the duo have already been through a lot. In a tragedy worthy of Disney's Lion King, their father Kamal died just 12 days later.

The brothers then had to be hand-reared by staff after they were rejected by their mother Shiva.

"The initial transition was a very important time for the cubs," said Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals.

"We placed straw from their previous enclosure on the ground for familiarity, and gave each cub a cuddly toy to snuggle into to mimic mum."

Now four-month-old Kamran and Ketan have the whole enclosure to themselves, complete with their very own den.

Staff at the zoo are thrilled with their progress. "They're inquisitive and energetic so the enclosure is the perfect place for them to explore," said Mrs Bugg.

"They're thriving. We're almost completely hands off with them now. They're very playful with each other and are happy and confident in their new home."

Asiatic lions are a critically endangered species with just 350 estimated to be left in the wild.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz