Longleat Lion Cubs Update
DECEMBER 12th 2011
In all the excitement last week I forgot to mention which cub was the first to actually brave the outside world for the first time. It may not surprise you that it was Simba, closely followed by Nala, who made the first move.
Mum Malaika, who has been inside with the cubs for the last 12 weeks, fairly bounded out as soon as the doors were open. Simba was close behind and was a little bemused when mum disappeared around the corner of their enclosure.
It wasn’t long before they all caught up with her though and it was really funny to watch their reaction to feeling grass under their paws for the first time.
There was plenty of play fighting and jumping on each other going on and because the ground was quite damp it didn’t take long before they were all plastered with mud - another new experience!
Thankfully Malaika is an expert groomer and all four cubs were soon spotless again.
On that first outing I reckon they must have been playing happily for nearly an hour and it was only when Malaika decided that she’d had enough that they followed her back inside.
We’re now letting them out pretty much every day and have also started mixing them with the two slightly youngers cubs that were born to another female called Luna. They were born about two weeks after Simba and Nala and it’s quite amusing to see how the ‘older’ cubs want to boss the youngsters around all the time.
Both the adult females appear quite happy to look after their cubs together, which is a very good sign, and the cubs themselves seem to see any lioness and identify them as ‘mum’.
This is the last blog I’ll be writing about the cubs this year and I hope you have enjoyed reading it and finding out about Simba and Nala’s progress.
Everyone here at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, including Simba, Nala, Malaika and the rest of the pride would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hopefully look forward to meeting you in 2012.