ZSL London Zoo’s own three lions show their support for England by practising their football skills - ahead of the team’s opening World Cup match in Russia.
The three-a-side pride kicked off the day with their own football, decorated with the England flag, to celebrate the start of the global event.
ZSL lion keeper Tom Lawrance said: “Our Asiatic lionesses loved a kick-about with their new ball, which we scented with their favourite herbs and spices in their Land of the Lions home.
“We’re all big footie fans and are hoping that with ZSL London Zoo’s pride of lions roaring them on, the England team will be feline lucky enough to bring home the Cup this summer.
“In the meantime, if Gareth Southgate needs help encouraging his players to roar into action, he knows where to come!”
The Zoo’s own London-born hat-trick, sisters Heidi, Indi and Rubi, were given the special football as part of their daily enrichment, designed to encourage natural skills such as stealth and chasing - while the England team will hopefully use theirs to beat Tunisia on Monday 18 June.
Lions have been mascots on England football shirts since 1872, while only 500 Asiatic lions remain in the wild in India’s Gir Forest, where ZSL carries out vital conservation work with the species.