Welcome our four newest arrivals - adorable African lion cubs!
We are ecstatic to introduce you to the newest arrivals at Blair Drummond Safari Park – four African Lion cubs! This is the first time in forty years that the safari park has had four cubs born to the same mother. Fantastic news! Visitors can also be in with the chance of naming three of the adorable newest additions to the Blair Drummond clan via our Facebook page.
The cubs were born three weeks ago to first-time mother, Karis, and father, Zulu. Mother and cubs are doing well, having had their first vet health screening this week.The three week old cubs were examined by park veterinarian Colin Scott who sexed, weighed, wormed and microchip the cubs. Colin said “It all went very well and the cubs are all in good health. They all weighed in at around 2.5 kilos and I expect them to double their weight when we come back in 4 weeks’ time to give them their second worm.”
Head keeper Brian Reid who had the task of catching up the cubs for Colin to examine said “even though they look cute and cuddly, they are feisty – they have quite sharp claws! No teeth yet, but we can expect them to start appearing by their next check-up. Karis has been amazing first time mum and is very protective of the cubs.”
We were delighted to find out we have two girls and two boys. One male has already been named “Murray” after local hero, Andy Murray. Andy won Wimbledon the day after the cubs were born so we feel it’s the perfect name – we hope Andy will come and meet his furry namesake when he next visits home!
Zulu moved to the Safari Park in February from Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. This was a direct swap with our old 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 in order to increase the genetic diversity and avoid line breeding within the pride, it was essential to bring in Zulu. We can’t wait to get the cubs out into the drive through section for all our visitors to see. This will be a gradual introduction when the cubs are a bit older - probably about ten to twelve weeks of age. We know that four year old Auntie Libby and nineteen year old Grandma Teekay will be excited to meet and play with the cubs!
African Lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species – a recent estimate suggests approximately 30,000 African Lions remain in the wild. Increasing diversity in captivity as well as continuing research with both wild and captive populations is therefore essential. This combined with ongoing support of wildlife projects and 'in-situ' conservation will allow us to help safeguard this amazing species from extinction.
The cubs will stay hidden in their cosy Mum’s bed for the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for news on how they are doing. In the meantime you can watch them on our lion webcam at the following link - http://www.blairdrummond.com/animals/webcams