Monday, March 24, 2008

Lion king falls for a queen.

By David Horne
A new king of the beasts has arrived in west Oxfordshire this Easter.

Raja the lion has come to provide company for lioness Akela, and they're getting on like a house on fire.

The bonding programme is part of the plan by keepers at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, in Burford, who want the two to get together to breed in captivity.

Debbie Ryan, park spokesman, said: "It is always a bit hit and miss whether two animals will hit it off, but they're getting on very well. Akela is a very important blood line and we need to breed from her.

"Raja has won over the keepers too, as he is a real character.

"He really lives up to his name of King of the Beasts."

Raja has arrived from Bristol Zoo Gardens to replace his brother Sabu who died earlier this year at the park.

Akela and Raja are Asiatic lions, a critically endangered species with only about 350 left in the wild.

7:05pm Sunday 23rd March 2008


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