On Wednesday, 30 September, Dr Luten, veterinarian at our zoo, vaccinated the two lion cubs against feline panleukopenia and cat flu for the second and last time. The cubs received a booster after a three-week interval and are now immune to this common disease.
The young lions are now nine weeks old. Burgers’ Zoo wants to raise these big cats as naturally as possible, which means that the zookeepers will keep their distance from the animals as much as possible, among other things. The cubs are not used to human interaction, so they react fiercely, just like they would in the wild. Their alert response also demonstrates that the animals are perfectly healthy.
In the wild, a pregnant lioness also isolates herself when she feels she is going into labour. For the first few weeks, she will stay close to her cubs, as even conspecifics could be dangerous to the cubs at that young age. After some time, the lioness and her offspring will return to the group, which does not always go smoothly. The other lions are curious about the cubs, while the mother wants to defend them at all cost. Order is usually restored after several altercations, vicious growling and a few mock attacks by the mother to keep the rest at bay.
Burgers’ Zoo wants to let nature take its course step by step. After the second vaccination, the cubs should be ready to meet their adult counterparts. In addition to the mother, Arnhem is home to another lioness and a male lion.