Taiping lion cubs to debut soon

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 27 May 2006

TAIPING: Visitors to the Taiping Zoo can look forward to viewing a charming pair of lion cubs in two months. 

Tsavo, a male cub, and his sister, Nakuru, were born on April 10 to Kunta, a lioness acquired from the Singapore Zoo under an animal exchange programme. 

“They will be displayed to visitors in two months’ time when they become stronger,” zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus told a press conference yesterday. 

ADORABLE CUBS: The lion cubs Tsavo and Nakuru resting in their pen while theirmother Kunta peers at the camera in Taiping Zoo.

The cubs’ names, he added, had been derived from two of the 10 national parks found in Kenya, the country that Kunta’s sire had came from. 

According to Dr Lazarus, Kunta and a lion named Nairobi were acquired from Singapore Zoo last year for Taiping Zoo’s breeding-in-captivity programme. 

He said the zoo had recently acquired some younger lions, including two males aged about two years under an animal exchange programme with Adelaide Zoo. 

“We have also acquired a pair of female lions aged about a year from a zoo in Argentina through an agent at a cost of RM10,000 each,” he said. 

The birth of the lion cubs has given an added boost to the zoo’s breeding-in-captivity programme as one of its black panthers had also produced two cubs a week earlier. 

On other new developments at the zoo, Dr Lazarus said new enclosures were being built. At one of the four new cages, visitors can get a look at the sugar glider, a nocturnal but active marsupial that can glide up to 45m. 

“We have also placed six milky storks in one of the new cages to prevent them from flying away and leaving the zoo,” said Dr Lazarus, adding that in the past such birds roamed freely in the zoo’s open compound but had disappeared for unknown reasons.  

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