New den for 'orphaned' lion cubs
A pair of lion cubs who lost their father and were disowned by their mother have bounced back to become the pride of the zoo.
Rare Asiatic lion cubs Kamran and Ketan delighted visitors when they were allowed out to play in their new enclosure for the first time.
Born at Bristol Zoo last year, the duo have already been through a lot. In a tragedy worthy of Disney's Lion King, their father Kamal died just 12 days later.
The brothers then had to be hand-reared by staff after they were rejected by their mother Shiva.
"The initial transition was a very important time for the cubs," said Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals.
"We placed straw from their previous enclosure on the ground for familiarity, and gave each cub a cuddly toy to snuggle into to mimic mum."
Now four-month-old Kamran and Ketan have the whole enclosure to themselves, complete with their very own den.
Staff at the zoo are thrilled with their progress. "They're inquisitive and energetic so the enclosure is the perfect place for them to explore," said Mrs Bugg.
"They're thriving. We're almost completely hands off with them now. They're very playful with each other and are happy and confident in their new home."
Asiatic lions are a critically endangered species with just 350 estimated to be left in the wild.
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