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More on our Lion Cub

Monday, May 16, 2011 2:46pm
lion cub 450w.jpg

Monarto Zoo’s new lion cub is already almost two weeks old and growing quickly – although not as rapidly as the rhino calf! Its eyes are open and it has been heard calling should mum wander too far.

Kiamba is doing a fantastic job of ensuring the little one has a plump belly. She is also very protective, warding away too many prying eyes. Though unusual, she definitely only has one cub. There was some concern for the first few days after the arrival as it wasn’t exactly a textbook birth. Lion gestation is said to be 100-110days so I have to admit I was beginning to become a little sceptical when she reached day 110 and still didn’t look nearly as round as Tiombe just before she gave birth in 2007. But this is my first experience with lion cubs too so I remained positive. And at day 113 our patience was rewarded.

The cub’s father, Leroy, is housed alongside Kiamba most days. Although it may not have seen Leroy yet, it would certainly have heard him as an introduction to pride life.

The sex of the cub is currently unknown but should it be a girl we are hopeful of incorporating it long term back into the pride with mum and our other three females. If it is a male we will look at other options, perhaps housing him with his father once he is weaned. This will afford Leroy some companionship as he has not been a part of the pride since the death of his brother (unfortunately the females have decided he doesn’t suit them!).

Kiamba moved the cub to an alternative den when it was nine days old. She is now becoming more comfortable with leaving the cub alone in that den for short periods, coming out to eat and check what the other lionesses are doing.

While photo opportunities are brief, here are the latest snaps. We will have a closer look at the cub when it reaches eight weeks of age for a medical and vaccinations. This morning I saw it take a few wobbly steps around the den, though it looked more like an army shuffle along the ground! Over the coming weeks it will begin to explore its surroundings and venture out into the cubbing yard.

Claire
Carnivore Keeper, Monarto Zoo


 

Comments

he/she is so ADORABLE!!!! have you got names picked out for if its a boy or girl??
Posted By: Priyani Melville-Smith on Monday, May 23, 2011 11:27pm
How gorgeous! Congratulations to you all.
Posted By: Rosie McInerney on Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:39pm
So beautiful! Good on Kiamba for being a great Mum.
Posted By: Sandra Pullen on Saturday, May 28, 2011 12:47pm

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