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It's a Girl!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 4:42pm
lion cub 01.jpg lion cub 02.jpg lion 03.jpg lion cub 04.jpg

Our little lion cub is 9 weeks old already! I weighed her mum, Kiamba, this morning then managed to coax the cub onto the scales with mum for the first time too – a healthy 6.5kg. She is showing a keen interest in her mum’s food, and Kiamba is slowly learning to share. While she is definitely still drinking mum’s milk to increase her strength and immunity, she has very sharp teeth to steal small bites off the 4kg pieces of meat we feed Kiamba daily.

The long awaited health check was done on Monday, 4th July. We initially separated mum and distracted her with a feed, then we had to encourage the cub into the den so we could catch her. The challenge was initially restraining her as she was a little scared and became very feisty. Her growl made her sound much bigger than she is!

It took two staff members to restrain her by the scruff while our Senior Vet, Ian Smith, gave her the once over. He gave her a vaccination and very carefully placed a worming tablet in her mouth, much the same as domestic kittens receive. He also confirmed it is a girl, which means now we can give her a suitable name. The winner of our eBay auction has been determined and we will keep you posted on the decision.

Kiamba was separated from the other three lionesses prior to the birth, as she would have done in the wild. We have begun re-introducing her to each of the females, one at a time, and have not seen any aggression which is very positive. The cub is watching these interactions from a distance initially to ensure her safety. She has nuzzled and called to her ‘aunties’ through the mesh and will have her turn to play with them when she is a little bigger. These introductions are an essential part of her development as she will learn a lot from the other lions, and need to be done before she can venture out to the main exhibit.

In the meantime, many visitors have caught a glimpse of her and Kiamba in their enclosure. However, I believe the best way to improve your chances of seeing what the cub gets up to is to book onto a Lions at Bedtime tour. The tour runs for one hour, four days per week and will give you a fantastic insight into life as a lion at Monarto Zoo. It also includes the opportunity to feed the lions their evening meal.

Claire
Carnivore Keeper, Monarto Zoo

Comments

That is wonderful news!!! The Little Miss sounds like she has inherited her mother's personality ;)
Absolutely gorgeous!!!
Posted By: Cindy on Monday, July 11, 2011 4:39pm
she is absolutely gorgeous . and someday i hope to become a zookeeper its my dream job and do this kind of work.
Posted By: Alysha on Saturday, July 16, 2011 9:33am
Thanks to Ngareta and Betty for introducing me to Zoos again. I have always had a lovely time at Monarto
Posted By: DAWN NEAME on Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:49pm
Wow, i really want to become a zoo keeper. What a cute looking lion cub. Cant wait to see it.
Posted By: Nitin on Monday, August 08, 2011 9:04pm

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Page Last Updated October 27, 2010, 2:37 am