African lion (Panthera leo) being most attractive but vulnerable exhibit of zoos and safaris; need particular attention to breeding plans. At captive sites, lioness neglects newborns commonly; at that stage, hand rearing is preferred. This study will highlight the best practices for hand-rearing lion cubs, including knowledge of early medical issues along with their treatment during the first 4 months of growth. 34 lions (08Male: 17Females: 9Cubs) were housed on 15 acres during 2019-21 at Safari Zoo Lahore. A total of 04 lionesses were found entirely abandoned to 05 newborns (03 males & 02 females). The hand-rearing period was divided into four phases based on age and feeding protocol and every cub was offered formula milk with or without meat depending upon age. The average weight gain of all the cubs was recorded along with problems/ conditions faced during process. The male cub 3 was found highest in weight gain but statistically no age wise or sex wise difference in growth was observed. The major problems faced were constipation, diarrhea, hyperthermia, eye blindness, and hind quarter weakness in 100 %, 100 %, 40 %, 20 %, and 40 % animals, respectively. All five successfully hand-reared cubs were shifted to 03 sub- adult lion’s enclosures. The behavioral changes of all the lion cubs were also recorded concerning aggression while feeding and pacing in the enclosure, etc. The study outcomes the protocol for hand rearing abandoned lion cubs, which would ultimately be helpful to the zoo keepers and wildlife conservationists.

Article History

Received: Sep 17, 2023; Accepted: Sep 27, 2023; Published: Dec 31, 2023

Additional Files

FINAL EDITTED_1649_Feeding Ecology of Reintroduced Blackbucks .docx (146 kB)
Abstract Lion article.docx

FINAL EDITTED_1649_Feeding Ecology of Reintroduced Blackbucks .pdf (388 kB)
lion hand rearing of lions cubs at safari zoo.pdf