Monday, October 31, 2016

Lioness Jessica's cubs open their eyes

| Oct 23, 2016, 10:23 IST
Kanpur: The two newly born lion cubs opened their eyes for the first time at Etawah lion safari on Friday.

The Asiatic lion cubs were born to lioness Jessica on October 5. "The cubs are doing well. They are drinking milk at a gap of 18 to 20 hours and continue to do so until they are two months old. The nursing the cubs takes about 70% of the mother's time in the first few months. In six to eight weeks, they may begin to eat solid food," lion safari director Sanjay Srivastava said.

With fewer lions left in the wild, the new additions to the population in Etawah's safari offers a ray of hope for a species on the edge.

The safari authorities are monitoring the activities of the cubs with the help of CCTV cameras.

The cubs are 17 days old and their mother is a lioness brought along with Pataudi and Tapasya from Gujarat on December 15. The safari staff are working to make sure that the young ones of Jessica are protected.

Jessica has given safari officials much to celebrate with the arrival of her litter. Lion cubs are playful and active and have opened their eyes and pounce on one another and often roll around with each other in mock fighting positions.

After mating with Manan, a lion brought from a safari in Gujarat in 2014, Jessica became pregnant in June this year.

Another lioness, Girishma is being treated for canine distemper virus (CDV). Officials claim the lioness is recuperating.

To prevent the deadly CDV virus from spreading further, experts from San Diego Zoo in US visited the safari recently and vaccinated the big cats.

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