Newborn lion cubs at ZSL London Zoo
Tuesday 8 November 2011
Lucifer the lion has received his very own treat this Halloween with the arrival of two endangered Asian lion cubs.
Nicknamed Pumpkin and Spook, the seven-week-old cubs are the second pair to be born to the Zoo’s love-cats Abi, 12, and Lucifer, eight, in two years. And for the first time ever at the Zoo the birth was captured on camera by excited keepers.
The little devils are slowly being introduced to their 28-stone father, Lucifer, who got his fiendish name because he bears international zoo identity number 666. With around 350 Asian lions remaining in the wild and just 90 living in captivity, the cubs are a welcome addition to ZSL London Zoo, which is part of the European Breeding Programme for Asian lions.
Already developing their own personalities, Pumpkin and Spook who are still feeding on milk from their mum, are now beginning to play-fight with each other.
Zookeeper Tony Cholerton says: “We’re thrilled about the arrival of Lucifer’s cubs. They’re full of energy and are proving a real hit with their doting mum.
“It’s lovely to see that Abi is making such a good mother and we’re expecting that Lucifer will be a roaring success as a second-time dad.”
The as-yet unsexed cubs are currently residing with mum, Abi in their lion den and visitors can see them intermittently throughout the day depending on whether mum wants her privacy.
The youngsters are expected to make their first public appearance in their outside paddock in November – just in time for their first Christmas at ZSL London Zoo.