As temperatures soar across the capital, the Asiatic lion pride at ZSL London Zoo celebrated World Lion Day with a breakfast of icy treats.
Keepers at London’s zoo - which is fundraising to keep its gates open after three months of lockdown left it under immense financial pressure - gave the big cat pride cooling breakfast treats hung from a custom-built ‘seesaw’.
Designed to inspire the majestic cats to use their prowess and strength, the seesaw, donated by ZSL sponsor Liontrust, enabled lionesses Heidi, Indi and Rubi to show off their natural hunting behaviour as they used their incredible upper body strength to pull their frozen breakfast down from the feeding device.
Kathryn Sanders, ZSL lion keeper said: “As the UK basks in another heatwave, we are celebrating World Lion Day by giving our lion pride their favourite cooling summer treat – a meaty ice lolly.
“We placed the pride’s frozen treat on the raised ‘seesaw’ encouraging them to use their natural skills to jump up and pull down the food, in the same way they would hunt large prey in the wild.
“As an international conservation charity, our work extends far beyond the boundaries of ZSL London Zoo. The Endangered Asiatic lions at ZSL London Zoo are ambassadors for the conservation work which is supported by ZSL in the Gir Forest, India.
“We’re grateful to be celebrating another year of support from Liontrust on World Lion Day, particularly during these unprecedented times. After three months of closure the loss of income put us under huge financial pressure as we continued to provide the highest level of care for our animals, so support from Liontrust is invaluable.”
Now open to limited numbers only, ZSL, the international conservation charity behind ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, is calling on the public to help ensure they stay open by booking a ticket, joining as a member or donating to ZSL.