Two rare Barbary lions bornBig sensation at Hannover Adventure Zoo – hope for endangered species
On February 24, 2011, lioness Binta (3) gave birth to two baby lions. "We are more than happy. The young mother is behaving perfectly", said zoo director Klaus-Michael Machens. In order not to disturb the inexperienced mother, the birthplace was only monitored by video camera. It quickly became clear that Binta was perfectly taking care of her two babies. She is feeding, licking and cleaning the little ones several times a day.
Beginning of March, the now one week old lion babies - sister and brother - opened their eyes for the first time and made their first cautious attempts to crawl. Zoo guests, though, will have to wait another six to eight weeks before they can watch the babies in the Lion Canyon. Only when the little ones can walk safely and keep up with Binta, she will be leaving her secure birthplace behind the scenes and reunite with father Chalid (6) and the other lioness Naima (3).
In danger of extinction
In North Africa Barbary lions have been extinct in the wild since the middle of the 20th century; only a small group of Panthera leo leo survived at the Moroccan national zoo in Rabat, where controlled breeding has saved them from extinction. Nowadays, Barbary lions are also bred in few European zoos.
Last year, Binta and Naima moved from Rabat to Hannover. In July, Chalid followed from Port Lympne in Great Britain. On Binta’s tiny offspring rest high hopes for the survival of the rare Barbary lions.
The Barbary lion is the heaviest and largest of all lions, and the male has a very thick mane. It is familiar as the classic heraldic lion, usually depicted standing, with long fur on its front legs and stomach.
Adventure Zoo with about 3,400 animals in seven unique theme worlds, numerous animal shows and commented feedings daily, free attractions such as the Zambezi boat ride, Henry’s Underwater World, jungle path, evolution trail, adventure playgrounds, petting meadow as well as regional specialties in every theme world.
(Hannover Adventure Zoo)
Presse: Dr. Simone Hagenmeyer
Tel. (+49) 511 28074117
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