Our four lion cubs venture into the drive through reserve
There's no need to be lion around during the October break, our four adorable lion cubs have received all vaccines and are out and about in our drive through reserve, exploring their enclosure and delighting visitors as they go.
The cubs, Murray, Reid, Thistle and Isla are fully mixed with the rest of the pride and under the careful watch of their mum, Karis, they'll begin to explore the reserve and play with their father, Zulu, auntie Libby and grandma Teekay.
The cubs are full of play and already quite mischievous, collection manager, Sheila Walker explains
"We've been mixing the cubs with the rest of the pride for short periods. They have been so playful and fearless, they love to chase the tails of the other adults. I think the keeper is going to have a job keeping an eye on them all, and keeping them out of mischief. We've had no problems rearing the cubs, Karis has been a brilliant first time mum, the cubs are in fine health and acting very strong."
We spoke their keeper, Brian Reid and asked how he'll cope with four new excitable lion cubs
"Back in 1998 I had seven cubs all at once from two lionesses, so I'm well prepared and know what's in store! These four cubs will still be a big handful but I'm really excited to get them outside. I expect the cubs will be on the go all the time, non stop - I wont be able to take my eyes off them! Their mum and auntie are very playful in their nature so the section will be very busy. I know our visitors will get a great spectacle."
The expansion of the pride is a result of introducing a new male, Zulu last February. He moved to the Safari Park from Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. This was a direct swap with our previous male, Dudley, in order to increase genetic diversity in the European breeding programme. During his five years here in Scotland Dudley successfully bred with the Teekay (Karis’ mother) but to avoid line breeding within the pride, it was essential to bring in Zulu. Visitors will now be able to see the whole pride as part of the drive through section or from the raised viewing platform.